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Trop Med Int Health. 2011 Apr;16(4):510-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2011.02729.x. Epub 2011 Jan 24.

Emergence of a new focus of anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis due to Leishmania tropica in rural communities of Bam district after the earthquake, Iran.

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Dermatology and Leishmaniasis Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.



To describe a new emerging focus of anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) due to Leishmania tropica in rural areas of Dehbakry county, south-eastern Iran, after the earthquake of 2003.


House-to-house survey of 3884 inhabitants for active leishmaniasis lesions or scars. The diagnosis was confirmed by smears, cultures and identification of the parasite by polymerase chain reaction (PCR).


All age groups were affected, although patients ≤10 years of age showed the highest rate of infection (P = 0.0001). The overall prevalence rate was 5.3%; 6.3% in females and 4.3% in males. Of 204 cases, 1.8% had active sores and 3.5% had scars, with a significant difference between the sexes (P = 0.005). 47% of the lesions were on the face and 77.9% had one lesion. The incidence rose gradually 2004-2005, but grew exponentially 2006-2008. Electrophoresis of PCR products indicated that L. tropica was the causative agent.


The current emergence was unexpected in this rural locality, where no previous history of CL was recorded. According to our knowledge this is the first report of a gradually establishing new ACL focus in rural communities after the 2003 earthquake.

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