Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

How visceral leishmaniasis spread through central-Southern Brazil

The protozoan disease visceral leishmaniasis (VL) has recently expanded to places where it had not previously been reported and has expanded its geographic distribution within countries where it was already endemic. Now, ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Researchers compare visceral leishmaniasis diagnostic tests

Accurate and timely diagnosis of the tropic disease visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is one of the pillars for reducing VL deaths. Currently available serological tests for diagnosing VL vary widely in their performance and may, ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Reducing delays in identifying visceral leishmaniasis

Women in Indian states with endemic visceral leishmaniasis—also known as Kala Azar—should be encouraged to seek care for persistent fever without delay. Raised awareness about the disease and its symptoms, and the prioritization ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Combination therapy treats leishmaniasis, HIV patients

Coinfection with visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been observed in at least 35 countries on four continents and requires special case management. Currently, the World Health Organization ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Natural compound 2HF treats leishmaniasis infections, study finds

Current treatment options for the parasitic disease leishmaniasis are largely ineffective, expensive, and tend to be plagued by resistant parasites and side effects. Now, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases ...

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Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by protozoan parasites that belong to the genus Leishmania and is transmitted by the bite of certain species of sand fly (subfamily Phlebotominae). Although the majority of the literature mentions only one genus transmitting Leishmania to humans (Lutzomyia) in the Americas, a 2003 study by Galati suggested a new classification for the New World sand flies, elevating several subgenera to the genus level. Elsewhere in the world, the genus Phlebotomus is considered the vector of leishmaniasis.

Most forms of the disease are transmissible only from animals (zoonosis), but some can be spread between humans. Human infection is caused by about 21 of 30 species that infect mammals. These include the L. donovani complex with three species (L. donovani, L. infantum, and L. chagasi); the L. mexicana complex with four main species (L. mexicana, L. amazonensis, and L. venezuelensis); L. tropica; L. major; L. aethiopica; and the subgenus Viannia with four main species (L. (V.) braziliensis, L. (V.) guyanensis, L. (V.) panamensis, and L. (V.) peruviana). The different species are morphologically indistinguishable, but they can be differentiated by isoenzyme analysis, DNA sequence analysis, or monoclonal antibodies.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis is the most common form of leishmaniasis. Visceral leishmaniasis is a severe form in which the parasites have migrated to the vital organs.

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