Infectious diseases

Cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis is a group of infectious diseases, which are characterized by ulcers of the skin and mucous membranes (cutaneous leishmaniasis) or severe lesions of the internal organs (visceral leishmaniasis). The disease is widespread in tropical and subtropical countries, is caused by parasitic protozoan genus Leishmania. There are four forms of leishmaniasis, depending on the calling agent:

  • Cutaneous leishmaniasis of the Old World;
  • Cutaneous leishmaniasis of the New World;
  • Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis Brazilian (espundia);
  • Visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar).


  • Nodes on the skin.
  • Fever.
  • Sores on the skin and mucous membranes.
  • Enlarged liver and spleen.


Leishmaniasis is caused by leishmania – genus of protozoa flagellates class, round or oval in shape, length 6.2 m. The disease is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes.


For the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis solyusurmin is used. When the South American visceral leishmaniasis glyukantim is appointed. In the absence of the effect of drugs amphotericin antimony is used. For the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis doctors also use drugs containing antimony. In other forms of leishmaniasis ketoconazole, meglumine are used. It is chemicals that destroy pathogens in the body are and suppress their reproduction. Complex treatment of parasites: drugs should eliminate exposure to toxins. In recent years, a new vaccine is being tested. In severe lesions of the skin, muscles and cartilage patients need plastic surgery.

Treatment of leishmaniasis is dangerous without a doctor.

When a skin lesion after visiting tropical or subtropical countries, you should seek medical attention.

The doctor will examine the affected skin, nodules and ulcers, and will take their strokes. For suspected visceral leishmaniasis tissue samples of spleen, liver, bone marrow or lymph nodes are taken, blood test is done. Depending on the patient agents of antimony can be the causative.

Course of the disease

Depending on the pathogen, course of the disease varies. Cutaneous leishmaniasis of the old world: nodules appear at the bite site, and in their place later open sores. After 6-15 months ulcers themselves delayed, leaving scars. New World cutaneous leishmaniasis: on-site nodules appear as sores. A painless nonmetastasizing chronic ulcers are usually localized in the neck and ears. As a rule, there are rough strain ears. During mucocutaneous leishmaniasis Brazilian similar flow of cutaneous leishmaniasis of the New World, but in this case the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and throat affects, sometimes face is disfigured. Visceral leishmaniasis is progressing gradually. There is a weakness, lethargy, fever, spleen and liver increased. The skin is a kind of color – a waxy, pale or dark earthy. Anemia appears, the number of white blood cells and platelets in the blood decreases. The mucous membranes of the mouth are affected, bleeding ulcers appears. Spleen and liver increases, functions of these organs broken.

Diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis

This incurable form of leishmaniasis is common in Ethiopia and Venezuela. Nodes appear on the skin, resembling leprosy.

Is it a dangerous disease?

Cutaneous leishmaniasis is not serious, sometimes spontaneous recovery. However, if untreated, disfiguring scars may leave. If untreated, visceral leishmaniasis, possibly fatal.