What is the pathogenesis of visceral or diffuse (disseminated) cutaneous leishmaniasis?

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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With visceral or diffuse (disseminated) cutaneous disease, patients exhibit relative anergy to the Leishmania organism and have a prominent Th2 cytokine profile. Typically, visceral leishmaniasis incubates for weeks to months before becoming clinically apparent. The disease can be subacute, acute, or chronic, and can manifest in patients who are immunocompromised years after they have left endemic regions.

In addition, susceptibility genes in band 22q12 have been found in an ethnic group in parts of Sudan that has a high prevalence rate of visceral leishmaniasis.

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