by Naylor-Leyland G, Collin SM, Gatluak F, den Boer M, Alves F, Mullahzada AW, Ritmeijer K. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2022;16(8): e0010696. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0010696
Summary: Visceral leishmaniasis is endemic in South Sudan with periodic outbreaks. In recent years, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) data have indicated increasing numbers of VL relapse cases. The authors performed a retrospective analysis to try to understand the reasons for this increase. Programme monitoring data from the MSF hospital in Lankien, Jonglei State, South Sudan and routinely collected patient-level data from relapse and primary visceral leishmaniasis cases treated at all MSF sites in South Sudan for the period 2001–2018 were analyzed. Increasing incidence of visceral leishmaniasis relapse in South Sudan does not appear to be explained by changes in patient characteristics or other factors. These worrying data may indicate emergence of treatment-resistant parasite strains, decreasing the effectiveness of current treatment regimens.