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Cutaneous leishmaniasis is the most common form of leishmaniasis affecting humans.[1] It is a skin infection caused by a single-celled parasite that is transmitted by the bite of a phlebotomine sand fly.[2]The most common causes by Old World species are L. major, L. tropica, and L. aethiopica;while the New World species, has L. mexicana and L. Viannia.[3]The treatment for cutaneous leishmaniasis depends on the species of Leishmania and the type of infection[4]


The symptoms for Cutaneous leishmaniasis is as follows: swallowing difficulty, skin ulcer, nosebleeds, as well as, erosion in the mouth and inner nose.[5]


Leishmania is a genus of trypanosomes that are responsible for the disease leishmaniasis.[6][7][8] Leishmania species are unicellular eukaryotes having a well-defined nucleus and other cell organelles including kinetoplasts and flagella.[9] L. tropica and L major are among the types of Leishmania that cause cutaneous leishmaniasis.[10]

Mechanism of infection

Promastigotes of Leishmania are transmitted to human skin by the bite of a sandfly. Leishmania then invades human macrophages and replicates intracellularly. A raised, red lesion develops at the site of the bite. The lesion then ulcerates and may become secondarily infected with bacteria.In some species the lesion may spontaneously heal with scarring, but then reappear elsewhere.[11][12][13][14]


Fine-needle aspiration of the lesion is confirmatory with identification of amastigote form of Leishmania.[15] The gold standard for diagnosis is a PCR test.[16]


The sand fly stings mainly at night, and it usually occurs about half a meter above the ground. To avoid the possibility of stinging, one should apply mosquito (insect) repellent, and cover the body.[17][18]


The treatment of Cutaneous leishmaniasis is via Meglumine antimoniate and sodium stibogluconate with a cure rate of 94 percent.[19]


Cutaneous leishmaniasis is endemic in all tropical and subtropical areas of the world.The distribution of this disease is very tightly linked to geography, and villages even several miles apart can have very different rates of cutaneous leishmaniasis.[20][21][22]


  1. James WD, Berger TG (2006). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: clinical Dermatology. Saunders Elsevier. p. 423. ISBN 978-0-7216-2921-6.
  2. "Cutaneous and Mucosal Leishmaniasis - PAHO/WHO | Pan American Health Organization". Archived from the original on 27 March 2023. Retrieved 4 July 2023.
  3. Tripathi, G. (March 2010). Cellular and Biochemical Science. I. K. International Pvt Ltd. p. 1084. ISBN 978-81-88237-85-2. Archived from the original on 9 July 2023. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
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  7. Myler P; Fasel N (editors) (2008). Leishmania: After The Genome. Caister Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-904455-28-8.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. Ansari MY, Equbal A, Dikhit MR, Mansuri R, Rana S, Ali V, Sahoo GC, Das P (Nov 2015). "Establishment of Correlation between In-Silico &In-Vitro Test Analysis against Leishmania HGPRT to inhibitors". International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. 83: 78–96. doi:10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2015.11.051. PMID 26616453.
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  10. de Vries, HJC; Schallig, HD (November 2022). "Cutaneous Leishmaniasis: A 2022 Updated Narrative Review into Diagnosis and Management Developments". American journal of clinical dermatology. 23 (6): 823–840. doi:10.1007/s40257-022-00726-8. PMID 36103050. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
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  13. Volpedo, Greta; Pacheco-Fernandez, Thalia; Holcomb, Erin A.; Cipriano, Natalie; Cox, Blake; Satoskar, Abhay R. (8 June 2021). "Mechanisms of Immunopathogenesis in Cutaneous Leishmaniasis And Post Kala-azar Dermal Leishmaniasis (PKDL)". Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 11. doi:10.3389/fcimb.2021.685296. ISSN 2235-2988.
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  15. Ghimire, Pragya Gautam; Shrestha, Richa; Pandey, Sumit; Pokhrel, Kumar; Pande, Rajan (2018-03-29). "Cutaneous Leishmaniasis: A Neglected Vector Borne Tropical Disease in Midwestern Region of Nepal". Nepal Journal of Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology. 16 (1): 41–44. doi:10.3126/njdvl.v16i1.19405. ISSN 2091-167X.
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  22. Berry, Isha; Berrang-Ford, Lea (October 2016). "Leishmaniasis, conflict, and political terror: A spatio-temporal analysis". Social Science & Medicine. 167: 140–149. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.04.038.