Background: Control of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) on the Indian subcontinent has been highly successful. Control efforts such as indoor residual spraying and active case detection will be scaled down or even halted over the coming years. We explored how after scale-down, potential recurrence of VL cases may be predicted based on population-based surveys of antibody or antigenemia prevalence. Methods: Using a stochastic age-structured transmission model of VL, we predicted trends in case incidence and biomarker prevalence over time after scaling down control efforts when the target of 3 successive years without VL cases has been achieved. Next, we correlated biomarker prevalence with the occurrence of new VL cases within 10 years of scale-down. Results: Occurrence of at least 1 new VL case in a population of 10 000 was highly correlated with the seroprevalence and antigenemia prevalence at the moment of scale-down, or 1 or 2 years afterward. Receiver operating characteristic curves indicated that biomarker prevalence in adults provided the most predictive information, and seroprevalence was a more informative predictor of new VL cases than antigenemia prevalence. Thresholds for biomarker prevalence to predict occurrence of new VL cases with high certainty were robust to variation in precontrol endemicity. Conclusions: The risk of recrudescence of VL after scaling down control efforts can be monitored and mitigated by means of population-based surveys. Our findings highlight that rapid point-of-care diagnostic tools to assess (preferably) seroprevalence or (otherwise) antigenemia in the general population could be a key ingredient of sustainable VL control.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.