Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), transmitted by the female sandfly, is the second-deadliest parasitic disease after malaria. In 2014, 90 percent of all new VL cases occurred in six countries – Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. Without treatment, VL is nearly always fatal.
Epidemics of VL and HIV/AIDS compound each other. VL accelerates disease progression in people with HIV by suppressing their immune systems, and people with HIV are at substantially greater risk of becoming infected with VL, particularly if they are not receiving antiretroviral therapy.
Our antifungal medicine AmBisome® (amphotericin B liposome for injection) is recommended by the World Health Organization as a first-line treatment for VL. A 2010 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated that a single dose of AmBisome was as effective and less expensive than conventional VL therapy containing amphotericin.
VL is one of 10 neglected tropical diseases