Risk factors for mortality of children with zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis in Central Tunisia

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (ZVL) caused by Leishmania infantum is endemic with an epidemiological profile of a paediatric disease in Tunisia. In the context of a high fatality rate, identifying risk factors for in-hospital mortality in children treated for ZVL is of major epidemiological importance. DESIGN: A retrospective (case-control) study included 230 immuno-competent children diagnosed and confirmed with primary ZVL in the paediatric department of the University Hospital of Kairouan between 2004 and 2014. Forty-seven per cent (47%) were children under 18 months of age, and with a male ⁄ female ratio of 1.01:1. RESULTS: The overall case-fatality was 6% (n = 14). The risk factors for in-hospital death identified by a multivariate analysis were: bleeding at admission (OR = 25.5, 95% CI: 2.26-287.4; p = 0.009), white cell count less than 4000/mm3 (OR = 5.66, 95% CI: 1.16-27.6; p = 0.032), cytolysis (OR = 28.13, 95% CI: 4.55-173.6; p < 0.001), and delay between onset of symptoms and admission ≥ 15 days (OR = 11, 95% CI: 1.68-72; p = 0.012). CONCLUSION: The results strongly suggest that paediatric patients admitted 15 days after onset of symptoms, with bleeding, white cell counts below 4,000/mm3, and cytolysis at admission should be considered severe cases and subsequently, they are at high risk of mortality. A better understanding of factors associated with death of children from ZVL may contribute to decrease mortality.
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Khaled Ben Helel, Mohamed Ben Rejeb, Zakia Habboul, Nizar Khattat, Houssain Mejaouel, et al.. Risk factors for mortality of children with zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis in Central Tunisia. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2017, 12 (12), pp.e0189725. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0189725⟩. ⟨pasteur-02010565⟩

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