What is leishmaniasis and how does it manifest?

Updated: Feb 18, 2020
  • Author: Craig G Stark, MD, FACP, FFTM, RCPS(Glasg), FISTM; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Answer

Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by an intracellular protozoa parasite transmitted by the bite of a female sandfly (Phlebotomus species) (see the following images). The clinical spectrum of leishmaniasis ranges from a self-resolving, localized cutaneous ulcer to widely disseminated progressive lesions of the skin, to a mutilating mucocutaneous disease, and even to a lethal systemic illness that affects the reticuloendothelial system.

Classic Leishmania major lesion from a case in Ira Classic Leishmania major lesion from a case in Iraq shows a volcanic appearance with rolled edges.
The predominant mode of leishmaniasis transmission The predominant mode of leishmaniasis transmission is a sandfly's bite.
Leishmania donovani is one of the main Leishmania Leishmania donovani is one of the main Leishmania species that infects humans.

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