Post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) is a rare complication of visceral leishmaniasis. We aimed at reporting PKDL cases in people living with HIV (PLHIV) and compare their characteristics based on whether PKDL occurred in the context of immune recovery under antiretroviral therapy (ART) or not.
National survey and literature review.
We called for observations in France in October 2020 and performed a literature review from PubMed (Medline) and Web of Science up to December 2020. Two groups of patients were defined based on whether PKDL occurred in the context of immune recovery under ART (group 1) or not (group 2), and compared.
Three PLHIV with PKDL identified in France in the last decade were described and added to 33 cases from the literature. Compared with group 2 (16/36, 44.4%), patients from group 1 (20/36, 55.6%) originated more frequently from Europe (12/20, 60% vs. 2/16, 12.5%; P = 0.0038), had higher median blood CD4+ cell counts (221/μl vs. 61/μl; P = 0.0005) and increase under ART (122/μl, interquartile range 73–243 vs. 33/μl, interquartile range 0–53; P = 0.0044), had less frequently concomitant visceral leishmaniasis (3/20, 15% vs. 8/12, 66.7%; P = 0.006), and a trend to more frequent ocular involvement (7/20, 35% vs. 1/16, 6.25%; P = 0.0531).
In PLHIV, PKDL occurs after a cured episode of visceral leishmaniasis as part of an immune restoration disease under ART, or concomitant to a visceral leishmaniasis relapse in a context of AIDS. For the latter, the denomination ‘disseminated cutaneous lesions associated with visceral leishmaniasis’ seems more accurate than PKDL.