Surveillance, prevention and control of leishmaniases in the European Union and its neighbouring countries

Surveillance report

Surveillance, prevention and control of leishmaniases in the European Union and its neighbouring countries. Stockholm: ECDC; 2022.

This technical report presents the epidemiology of human and animal leishmaniases in the EU and its neighbouring countries and concludes that the disease remains widespread and underreported in many countries of southern Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East and that there is a need to improve leishmaniasis prevention and control based on robust surveillance in humans, animals, and vectors, and to increase public awareness following a one health approach.

Executive summary

Current leishmaniasis prevention and control measures and access to valid diagnostic methods and effective treatments are insufficient. This could have important disease implications including an increase in incidence in the EU and its neighbouring countries, the spread of Leishmania spp. into new areas going unnoticed, increases in treatment failure and the development of resistance to treatments.

The report also describes the surveillance, prevention, and control measures implemented in 40 countries in Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, and the Caucasus where leishmaniases are endemic, or where sand fly vectors of leishmania parasites have been reported.

Information was gathered through an extensive, non-systematic review of the scientific and grey literature published between 2009 and 2020, and through questionnaires addressing the public health and veterinary national authorities in the targeted countries.

Outputs include:

  • a description and analysis of the spatial and temporal dynamics, including presence maps and evidence for emergence,
  • a description of statutory notification, surveillance, and control arrangements, and
  • a description of levels of access to diagnostic techniques and medicines.

This information was collated to provide the basis for recommendations on potential future action to strengthen surveillance, prevention, and control of leishmaniases to reduce the impact of the disease in the EU and its neighbouring countries.

Publication data