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Parasite. 2014;21:14. doi: 10.1051/parasite/2014014. Epub 2014 Mar 14.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis in North Africa: a review.

Author information

1
Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Laboratoire de Parasitologie, 13 Pl Pasteur, BP 74, Tunis 1002, Tunisia.

Abstract

In North African countries, cutaneous leishmaniasis transmission has been increasing since the 1980s, with a significant increase in the incidence of cases and a spread of the geographical distribution. The disease currently represents a major public health problem with a productivity gap and an impediment for development, which results in dramatic socioeconomic and psycho-sanitary impacts. The incidence is more than thousands of cases every year in Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. In Egypt, only a few dozen cases per year are reported, mainly in the Sinai Peninsula. Three Leishmania species, associated with distinct eco-epidemiological and clinical patterns, are involved, namely Leishmania infantum, L. major, and L. tropica. However, L. major is by far the most frequent in Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia, with more than 90% of the registered cases. It is mainly encountered in rural areas under semi-arid, arid and Saharan climates. Leishmania tropica is more prevalent in Morocco, reaching 30-40% of isolates in some districts. Much data is still missing concerning the risk factors of the infection and the lesion development, as well as vector and reservoir ecology and behavior. The knowledge of such parameters, following multidisciplinary and integrated approaches, is crucial for better management and control of the disease, that also faces a lack of resources and efficient control measures.

PMID:
24626301
PMCID:
PMC3952656
DOI:
10.1051/parasite/2014014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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