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Folia Parasitol (Praha). 2003 Dec;50(4):241-50.

Leishmania tropica (Kinetoplastida: Trypanosomatidae)--a perplexing parasite.

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Department of Parasitology, The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, P.O. Box 12272, Jerusalem, 91120, Israel.


Leishmania tropica is one of the causative agents of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), a disfiguring parasitic disease that recently was found to be viscerotropic. In urban areas it is transmitted from infected individuals by the bite of phlebotomine sand flies to naïve persons (anthroponotic CL). In rural areas animals are thought to be the reservoir, but the full life cycle is still under investigation (zoonotic CL). For many years L. tropica was either confused or merely grouped with L. major while Phlebotomus sergenti was the only proven vector. In recent years new foci have erupted, but few have been investigated. This review describes some of the history, recent findings, epidemiology, potential vectors, and the search for possible reservoir hosts besides man.

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