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BackgroundThe decade following the Regional Strategic Framework for Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) elimination in 2005 has shown compelling progress in the reduction of VL burden in the Indian subcontinent. The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other stakeholders, has coordinated and financed research for the development of new innovative tools and strategies to support the regional VL elimination initiative. This paper describes the process of the TDR's engagement and contribution to this initiative.Methodology/principal findingsMultiple databases were searched to identify 152 scientific papers and reports with WHO funding or authorship affiliation around the following 3 framework strategies: detection of new cases, morbidity reduction, and prevention of infection. TDR has played a critical role in the evaluation and subsequent use of the 39-aminoacid-recombinant kinesin antigen (rK39) rapid diagnostic test (RDT) as a confirmatory test for VL in the national program. TDR has supported the clinical research and development of miltefosine and single-dose liposomal amphotericin B as a first-line treatment against VL. TDR has engaged with in-country researchers, national programme managers, and partners to generate evidence-based interventions for early detection and treatment of VL patients. TDR evaluated the quality, community acceptance, and cost effectiveness of indoor residual spraying, insecticide-treated bed nets, insecticide-impregnated durable wall linings, insecticidal paint, and environmental management as tools for integrated vector management in reducing sandfly density.Conclusions/significanceTDR's engagement with country policy makers, scientists, and clinicians in the development of effective diagnosis, treatment, case detection, and vector control represents an important example of TDR's stewardship toward the elimination of VL in the Indian subcontinent.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS neglected tropical diseases

Publication Date





Global Influenza Programme, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.


Animals, Humans, Phlebotomus, Leishmaniasis, Visceral, Insecticides, Insect Vectors, Public Health Practice, Insect Control, World Health Organization, India, Insecticide-Treated Bednets, Disease Eradication, Translational Research, Biomedical