Dey, A.; Singh, S.
July 2006
Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology;Jul2006, Vol. 24 Issue 3, p165
Academic Journal
Leishmaniasis is caused by the infection of haemoparasite Leishmania. The disease is a major public health problem in at least 88 countries, including India. Various species of Leishmania are involved in causing this disease. In India, Leishmania donovani species causes visceral leishmaniasis or kala-azar. The parasite is mainly transmitted from infected to uninfected person through the bites of female sandfly. Rarely the parasite can transmit through placenta from mother to child, through sexual intercourse, as laboratory acquired and through blood transfusion. This paper reports a unique case of transfusion-transmitted fatal kala-azar in an Indian infant who acquired this infection within few days of his birth after receiving blood from his maternal uncle, who was asymptomatic at the time of blood donation but died due to severe kala-azar within three months. The baby started having fever and developed hepatosplenomegaly within one month of blood transfusion and in spite of repeated anti-leishmanial treatment with sodium antimony gluconate the child died at the age of 7 months. This paper details the clinico-pathological findings of this child and also reviews the literature on this aspect and its impact on transfusion medicine.


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