Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a vector-borne disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania. The disease is endemic in parts of South Asia, East Africa, South America and the Mediterranean region, with an estimated 50,000 to 90,000 cases occurring annually. A living systematic review of existing scientific literature is proposed to identify clinical drug efficacy studies against VL, conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic-Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.
Methods and analysis:
The proposed living systematic review builds on a previous systematic review first carried out in 2016, and the current protocol is designed to capture any published or registered VL clinical study from Nov-2021 onwards. The following databases will be searched by a medical librarian: PubMed, Ovid Embase, Scopus, Web of Science Core Collection, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, clinicaltrials.gov, WHO ICTRP, as well as IMEMR, IMSEAR, and LILACS from the WHO Global Index Medicus. The systematic review will consider both randomised and non-randomised interventional studies, including single-armed studies.
Ethics and dissemination:
A database of eligible studies, including study characteristics, is openly available (https://www.iddo.org/tool/vl-surveyor) and will be continually updated every six months. All findings will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.