Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Leishmaniasis Overview

What is leishmaniasis?
A person with leishmaniasis has a disease that is caused by an infection with a parasite, called Leishmania protozoa. Leishmaniasis is spread through the bite of a sandfly, travels through the bloodstream, and can infect multiple organs in the body. Leishmaniasis is very rare in the US, but about 12 million people are infected worldwide. Although the illness can be life threatening, most cases can be cured with early treatment.

What are the symptoms of leishmaniasis?
Symptoms of leishmaniasis may include a cough, fever, diarrhea, swollen lymph glands, weight loss, painful skin ulcers, and rectal bleeding.

How does the doctor treat leishmaniasis?
Treatment for leishmaniasis may include antiparasitic medications, blood transfusion, and surgery.

Continue to Leishmaniasis Incidence

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Leishmaniasis References
  1. del Giudice P, Marty P, Lacour JP, Perrin C, Pratlong F, Haas H, Dellamonica P, Le Fichoux Y. Cutaneous leishmaniasis due to Leishmania infantum. Case reports and literature review. Arch Dermatol. 1998 Feb;134(2):193-8. [9487211]
  2. Marty P, Rosenthal E. Treatment of visceral leishmaniasis: a review of current treatment practices. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2002 Aug;3(8):1101-8. [12150689]
  3. Paredes R, Laguna F, Clotet B. Leishmaniasis in HIV-infected persons: a review. J Int Assoc Physicians AIDS Care. 1997 Jun;3(6):22-39. [11364428]
  4. Reithinger R, Davies CR. Is the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) a reservoir host of American cutaneous leishmaniasis? A critical review of the current evidence. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1999 Oct;61(4):530-41. [10548285]
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