Treatment for cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) with standard pentavalent antimonial therapy is hampered by cumbersome administration, toxicity, and potential failure. Knowledge of factors influencing treatment outcome is essential for successful management.
A case-control study of incident cases was performed with patients experiencing their first CL episode. The standard treatment for CL for these patients was 20 mg/kg/day of sodium stibogluconate for 20 days. Clinical and epidemiological data were recorded, and parasite isolates were species typed. Patients were followed up for 6 months to assess treatment outcome. Clinical cure was defined as complete wound closure and re-epithelization without inflammation or infiltration; new lesions, wound reopening, or signs of activity were classified as treatment failure. Descriptive, bivariate, and logistic regression analyses were performed.
One hundred twenty-seven patients were recruited; 63 (49.6%) were infected with Leishmania (Viannia) peruviana, 29 (22.8%) were infected with Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis, 27 (21.3%) were infected with Leishmania (Viannia) guyanensis, and 8 (6.3%) were infected with other species. Only patients infected with the 3 most common species were selected for risk-factor analysis (n=119). Final failure rate at 6 months was 24.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 16.5%-32.1%), with 96% of failures occurring within the first 3 months of follow-up assessment. Risk factors for treatment failure identified in the final multivariate model were age (per year, odds ratio [OR], 0.95; 95% CI, 0.92-0.99; P=.017), stay of <72 months in area of disease acquisition (OR, 30.45; 95% CI, 2.38-389.25; P=.009), duration of disease <5 weeks (OR, 4.39; 95% CI, 1.12-17.23; P=.034), additional lesion (per lesion, OR, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.3-3.28; P=.002), infection with L. (V.) peruviana (OR, 9.85; 95% CI, 1.01-95.65; P=.049), and infection with L. (V.) braziliensis (OR, 22.36; 95% CI, 1.89-263.96; P=.014).
The identification of parasite species and clinical risk factors for antimonial treatment failure should lead to an improved management of CL in patients in Peru.