Leishmania spp.

Leishmania spp.

MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET - INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCES

SECTION I - INFECTIOUS AGENT

NAME: Leishmania spp.

SYNONYM OR CROSS REFERENCE: Family Trypanosomatidae, Leishmaniasis, L. donovani, L. tropica, L. braziliensis, L. mexicana, L. Chagasi, Kala-azar

CHARACTERISTICS: A flagellated protozoan, small (1-3 µm), obligate intracellular parasite, amastigotes occur living in macrophages in mammals, flagellated promastigote stage occur in insect vector

SECTION II - HEALTH HAZARD

PATHOGENICITY: Kala-azar (L. donovani) - chronic systemic disease characterized by fever (irregular with 2 daily peaks), hepatosplenomegaly; lymphadenopathy, anemia with leukopenia, and progressive emaciation and weakness; fatal if untreated; post-kala-azar leishmanoid dermal lesions; cutaneous leishmaniasis (Leishmania spp.) - local skin lesions, ulceration; self-limiting or progressive; mucocutaneous lesions in nasopharyngeal tissues can be fatal

EPIDEMIOLOGY: Worldwide 2 million new cases every year; rural disease of some tropical and subtropical areas; common as scattered cases among infants, children and adolescents, but occasionally occurs in epidemic waves; disease in humans reduced where dog populations have been drastically reduced

HOST RANGE: Humans, wild rodents, Canidae including domestic dogs

INFECTIOUS DOSE: Unknown

MODE OF TRANSMISSION: By bite of infective female phlebotomines (sandflies); sandfly is infected by ingesting protozoan from zoonotic reservoir, congenital transmission from mother to child is possible; transmission from person to person, and by blood transfusion and sexual contact have been reported

INCUBATION PERIOD: Kala-azar - generally 2-4 months; range is 10 days-2 years
Cutaneous - 1 week to many months

COMMUNICABILITY: As long as parasites persist in the circulating blood or skin lesions; infectivity may persist after clinical recovery; recovery from cutaneous leishmaniasis does not confer immunity against kala-azar

SECTION III - DISSEMINATION

RESERVOIR: Known or presumed reservoirs include humans, wild Canidae and domestic dogs, rodents, sloths and marsupials (cutaneous)

ZOONOSIS: Yes; by bite of sandfly infected by ingesting blood from infected mammals

VECTORS: Phlebotomine sandflies

SECTION IV - VIABILITY

DRUG SUSCEPTIBILITY: Sodiumstibogluconate, meglumin antimonate and other pentavalent antimonials effective

DRUG RESISTANCE: Antimony resistant strains of Leishmania donovani have been reported

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Susceptible to 1% sodium hypochlorite, 2% glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde

PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Inactivated by heat (50-60° C)

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Does not survive outside the host or culture; can remain infective for man for years in culture

SECTION V - MEDICAL

SURVEILLANCE: Monitor for symptoms; confirmation by demonstration of parasite in specimens or by using serological techniques; visualization of non-motile, intracellular form (amastigote) in lesions

FIRST AID/TREATMENT: Administration of appropriate drug therapy

IMMUNIZATION: None

PROPHYLAXIS: None

SECTION VI - LABORATORY HAZARDS

LABORATORY-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS: 4 reported laboratory infections with 1 death

SOURCES/SPECIMENS: Infective stages may be present in blood, feces, lesion exudates, and infected arthropods

PRIMARY HAZARDS: Accidental parenteral inoculation, transmission by arthropod vectors, skin penetration and ingestion, aerosol or droplet exposure on the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth

SPECIAL HAZARDS: Contact with lesion material from rodents with cutaneous leishmaniasis and with feces or blood of experimentally or naturally infected animals

SECTION VII - RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS

CONTAINMENT REQUIREMENTS: Biosafety level 2 practices, containment equipment, and facilities are recommended for activities with infective stages; infected arthropods should be maintained in facilities which preclude their escape, or exposure of personnel; primary containment (biological safety cabinet) recommended

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Laboratory coat; gloves when there is the likelihood of direct skin contact with infective stages

OTHER PRECAUTIONS: Other protective equipment may be indicated (face shield) when handling infective materials

SECTION VIII - HANDLING INFORMATION

SPILLS: Allow aerosols to settle; wearing protective clothing, gently cover spill with paper towels and apply 1% sodium hypochlorite, starting at perimeter and working towards the centre; allow sufficient contact time (30 min) before clean up

DISPOSAL: Decontaminate before disposal - steam sterilization, incineration, chemical disinfection

STORAGE: In sealed containers that are appropriately labelled

SECTION IX - MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

Date prepared: March, 2001

Prepared by: Office of Laboratory Security, PHAC

Although the information, opinions and recommendations contained in this Material Safety Data Sheet are compiled from sources believed to be reliable, we accept no responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability or for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information. Newly discovered hazards are frequent and this information may not be completely up to date.

Copyright © Health Canada, 2001

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