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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2011 Oct;17(10):1451-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2011.03640.x.

Clinical pleiomorphism in human leishmaniases, with special mention of asymptomatic infection.

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  • 1UMR MIVEGEC (IRD 224-CNRS 5290-Université Montpellier, France. anne-laure.banuls@ird.fr


This review gives an update of current knowledge on the clinical pleiomorphism of Leishmania, with a special emphasis on the case of asymptomatic carriage. The first part describes the numerous unusual expressions of the disease that occur besides the classic (visceral, cutaneous, and mucocutaneous) forms of leishmaniases. The second part deals with progress in the understanding of disease outcome in humans, and the possible future approaches to improve our knowledge in the field. The third part highlights the role of the too often neglected asymptomatic carrier compartment. This group could be key to understanding infraspecific differences in virulence and pathogenicity of the parasite, as well as identifying the genetic determinants involved in the expression of the disease.

© 2011 The Authors. Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2011 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

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