2006, Number 4
Dermatología Cosmética, Médica y Quirúrgica 2006; 4 (4)
Vera-Izaguirre DS, Vega-Memije E, Quintanilla-Cedillo MR, Arenas R
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ABSTRACTBackground: Leishmaniasis constitutes a variety of human diseases ranging in severity from a spontaneously healing skin ulcer to an overwhelming visceral disease. Leishmaniasis results from an infection with the protozoan parasite Leishmania SPP. The organism is transmitted to humans by the bite of the sandfly. Humans are usually accidental hosts and a variety of rodents, small mammals, and dogs are included as natural hosts. Disease is geographically and ecologically widespread, occurring in tropical and subtropical regions on all continents except Australia.
Worldwide, two million new cases occur each year, and a 10th of the world’s population is at risk of infection. The disease is highly endemic throughout northern Africa, the Middle East, parts of Europe, and Central and South America, but epidemics are well recognised. The incidence of leishmaniasis is increasing, with many endemic areas reporting a 500% increase over the past seven years.