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Table 1 Characteristics of the included studies

From: Prevalence and characteristics of malaria co-infection among individuals with visceral leishmaniasis in Africa and Asia: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Study no. First author and year of publication Study area
(years of survey)
Study design Participants (n) Age range (years) Males (n, %) Diagnostic methods Plasmodium sp. and VL co-infection (n) Plasmodium spp. mono-infection (n) VL cases (n)
1 Amare 2017 [30] Ethiopia (2010–2016) Retrospective cohort study VL and malaria co-infection (123), VL mono-infected patients (387) Co-infection, mean 24.1 ± 7.9 years
[0–9 years (n = 5), 10–19 years (n = 23), 20–29 years (n = 65), ≥ 30 years (n = 29); VL cases, mean 25.3 ± 7.8 years [0–9 years (n = 9), 10–19 years (n = 66), 20–29 years (n = 210), ≥ 30 years (n = 99)]
Co-infection, 121, 98.4%; VL, 381, 98.4% Malaria detection, thick blood film examination, RDT; VL detection, serologic tests, DAT, bone marrow or lymph node aspiration (smear) 123 NS 387
2 Aschale et al. 2019 [20] Ethiopia (2016) Cross-sectional study Migrant laborers aged ≥ 15 years (178) All participants, mean 26.1 ± 8.6 years [15–29 years (n = 132), 30–44 years (n = 38), 45–59 years (n = 4), ≥ 60 years (n = 4); co-infection [age 15–29 years (80%)] All participants 163, 91.6% No report 5 40 17
3 de Beer et al. 1991 [27] Sudan (NS) Prospective cohort study Patients with various clinical disorders (2714), patients with suspected VL (1195) NS NS Malaria detection, thin and thick blood film examination; VL detection, ICT using anti-Leishmania donovani antibody 70 NS 584
4 Ferede et al. 2017 [21] Ethiopia (2014) Cross-sectional study Patients with suspected VL (384) All participants, mean 28.1 ± 11.8 years [< 5 years (n = 6), 5–14 years (n = 20), 15–29 years (n = 227), 30–44 years (n = 99), ≥ 45 years (n = 32)]; co-infection [< 5 years (n = 2), 5–14 years (n = 0), 15–29 years (n = 9), 30–44 years (n = 5),  ≥ 45 years (n = 0)]; individuals without malaria and VL co-infection [< 5 years (n = 4), 5–14 years (n = 20), 15–29 years (n = 218), 30–44 years (n = 94), ≥ 45 years (n = 32)] 334, 87% Co-infection, 15, 93.8%; individuals without malaria and VL co-infection, 319, 95.5% Malaria detection, thin and thick blood film examination; VL detection, DAT, microscopy 16 45 (40 Plasmodium falciparum, five Plasmodium vivax) 83 (Individuals without malaria and VL co-infection)
5 Kolaczinski et al. 2008 [28] Uganda (2006) Case–control study Patients with VL (93) Confirmed VL, median 11 (IQR 8–16) years All participants 55, 59.1% Malaria detection, RDT; VL detection, ICT using anti-L. donovani antibody 6 NS 87
6 Mohammed et al. 2016 [31] Sudan (2013–2014) Retrospective cross-sectional study Patients with VL (313) All participants, mean 31.4 ± 11.9; co-infection, mean 27.3 ± 10.1; patients with VL (256), mean 31.5 ± 12.3 237, 75.7%
Co-infection, 23, 79.3%; patients with VL (256), 192, 75%
Malaria detection, thick blood film examination; VL detection, serologic tests, DAT, bone marrow or lymph node aspiration (smear) 29 NS 256
7 Mueller et al. 2009 [29] Uganda (2000–2005) Retrospective cross-sectional study Patients with suspected VL (3483), patients with confirmed VL (1858) Confirmed VL [< 5 years (n = 335), 6–15 years (n = 818), 16–45 years (n = 650), ≥ 45 years (n = 31)] All participants 1283, 69% Malaria detection, thin and thick blood film examination; VL detection, ICT using anti-L. donovani antibody, microscopic examination, DAT 387 NS 1471
8 Nandy et al. 1995 [22] India (1995) Cross-sectional study Patients with suspected VL (68) Co-infection (5–35 years) Co-infection, 2, 50% Malaria detection, thin and thick blood film examination; VL detection, DAT and bone marrow aspiration (smear and culture) 4 NS 64
9 Sarker et al. 2003 [23] Bangladesh (2002) Cross-sectional study Patients with VL (81) NS All participants 59, 72.8% No report 1 NS 80
10 Tekalign et al. 2020 [24] Ethiopia (2013–2018) Descriptive retrospective cohort study Patients with VL (434) Confirmed VL [< 5 years (n = 34), 5–15 years (n = 63), ≥ 15 years (n = 91)] All participants 151, 80% Malaria detection, thin and thick blood film examination; VL detection, ICT using anti-L. donovani antibody 12 NS 422
11 van den Bogaart et al. 2012 [25] Uganda (2000–2006) Descriptive retrospective cohort study Patients with suspected VL (4428), patients with confirmed VL (2511) Co-infection, median 10 (IQR 6–16) years [< 5 years (n = 82), 5–9 years (n = 133), 10–19 years (n = 145), 20–29 years (n = 55), ≥ 30 years (n = 32)]; patients with VL, median 12 (IQR 7–21) years [< 5 years (n = 234), 5–9 years (n = 451), 10–19 years (n = 687), 20–29 years (n = 354), ≥ 30 years (n = 219)] Co-infection, 311, 69.1%; patients with VL, 1350, 68.7% Malaria detection, thin and thick blood film examination; VL detection, ICT using anti-L. donovani antibody, microscopic examination, DAT 450 NS 1964
12 van den Bogaart et al. 2013 [26] Sudan (2005–2010) Retrospective case–control study Patients with VL (1324) Co-infection [< 5 years (n = 120), 5–9 years (n = 77), 10–19 years (n = 92), 20–29 years (n = 50), ≥ 30 years (n = 61)]; VL cases [< 5 years (n = 176), 5–9 years (n = 180), 10–19 years (n = 225), 20–29 years (n = 135), ≥ 30 years (n = 137)] Co-infection, 212, 52.5%; patients with VL, 501, 57.6% Malaria detection, thin and thick blood film examination; VL detection, ICT using anti-L. donovani antibody, microscopic examination, DAT 404 NS 870
  1. DAT Direct agglutination test, ICT immune-chromatographic technique, IQR interquartile range, NS not specified, PCR polymerase chain reaction, RDT rapid diagnostic test, VL visceral leishmaniasis