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Hautarzt. 2003 Jun;54(6):506-12. Epub 2003 Apr 18.

[Cutaneous leishmaniasis].

[Article in German]

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The Hadassah-Germany Skin Center, Department of Dermatology, The Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem, Isreal.


Leishmaniasis is a vector-borne disease caused by an obligate intracellular protozoa, Leishmania, which resides in macrophages. The parasite is transmitted by an infected female sandfly. The incidence of cutaneous leishmaniasis approaches 2 million new cases per year with 90% of the cases occurring in the "Old World", while the "New World" accounts for the rest. Infection may be restricted to the skin with development of characteristic ulcers, or may affect the mucous membranes in its mucocutaneous form. The clinical diagnosis is verified by the presence of amastigotes in slit-skin smears. Therapeutic modalities include systemic treatments such as the pentavalent antimony compound sodium stibogluconate, liposomal formulations of amphotericin B, oral ketoconazole or itraconazole, as well as topical paromomycin sulphate, local heat, freezing with liquid nitrogen, or photodynamic therapy. An effective vaccine is not available.

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