Cutaneous leishmaniasis is the most common form of leishmaniasis, which skin infection is caused by a single-cell parasite that is transmitted by sand fly bites. About 20 species of Leishmania exist that may cause cutaneous leishmaniasis. Different forms of Leishmaniasis exist which includes: Post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis, which is a recurrence of Kala-azar that may appear on the skin of affected individuals up to 20 years after being partially treated, untreated or even in those considered adequately treated; Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, which is the most feared form of cutaneous leishmaniasis because it produces destructive and disfiguring lesions of the face. It is most often caused by Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis, but cases caused by L. aethiopica have also been rarely described. It is often referred to as a group of diseases because of the varied spectrum of clinical manifestations, which range from small cutaneous nodules to gross mucosal tissue destruction. Despite its increasing worldwide incidence, but because it is rarely fatal, cutaneous leishmaniasis has become one of the so-called neglected diseases, with little interest by financial donors, public-health authorities, and professionals to implement activities to research, prevent, or control the disease. In endemic countries, diagnosis is often made clinically and, if possible, by microscopic examination of lesion biopsy smears to visually confirm leishmania parasites as the cause.The use of more sophisticated diagnostic techniques that allow for species identification is usually restricted to research or clinical settings in non-endemic countries. Disease prevention and control are difficult because of the complexity of cutaneous leishmaniasis epizoology, and the few options available for effective vector control.
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Scope and Importance
The numbers of the leishmaniasis cases are increasing throughout because of some factors such as the lack of vaccines, the increased parasites resistance to chemotherapy and inability to controlling vectors. Approximately three-quarters of incidence cases of leishmaniasis are related to Cutaneous Leishmaniasis.
Leishmaniasis can vary from a self-limiting cutaneous disease to a fatal visceral disease depending on the effecting species. CL is characterized by the presence of one or more ulcers which may heal spontaneously or persist for period of some months. Diagnosis of the disease is made based on demonstration of the parasite by methods such as fine-needle biopsy of lymph nodes, bone marrow aspiration, splenic puncture, skin scraping cytology and culture. Other methodologies such as immune histochemistry (ICH) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are preferably applied for supplementary diagnosis of the disease in particularly CL form. The conferences focus on the goals of direct instruction of trainees and new investigators in rare disease research methodology; development of a reusable curriculum/syllabus on rare disease research methodology; and stimulation of ideas regarding the unique issues facing investigators engaged in the study of rare diseases.
Leishmaniasis is endemic in 88 countries across 4 continents with approximately 350 million people currently at risk for infection. Each year it is estimated that 1.6 million new infections occur as well as 47,000 deaths. Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) 1,100,000 Infections (per year) and the Geographic Distribution is 90% of cases in Afghanistan, Algeria, Brazil, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and the Syrian Arab Republic. There is currently no vaccine approved for the prevention of leishmaniasis. Some informal vaccination efforts for the prevention of cutaneous leishmaniasis have been conducted in endemic areas through a process known as "leishmanisation." This process involves inoculating an area of skin (usually an area hidden by clothing) using live parasites from the active lesion of another person. Although difficult to standardize and extremely variable in outcome, this strategy does provide some protection.
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This page was last updated on December 8, 2023