Pathophysiology:The Leishmaniases are diseases caused by protozoan parasites from more than 20 Leishmania species that are transmitted to humans by the bites of infected female phlebotomine sandflies. The disease can present in three main ways: cutaneous, mucocutaneous, or visceral leishmaniasis The cutaneous form presents with skin ulcers, while the mucocutaneous form presents with ulcers of the skin, mouth, and nose, and the visceral form starts with skin ulcers and then later presents with fever, low red blood cells, and enlarged spleen and liver.
Treatment:The treatment is determined by where the disease is acquired, the species of Leishmania, and the type of infection. For visceral leishmaniasis in India, South America, and the Mediterranean, liposomal amphotericin B is the recommended treatment and is often used as a single dose A number of topical treatments may be used for cutaneous leishmaniasis. Which treatments are effective depends on the strain, with topical paromomycin effective for L. major, L. tropica, L. mexicana, L. panamensis, and L. braziliensis.
Statistics: Kala-azar has re-emerged from near eradication. The annual estimate for the incidence and prevalence of kala-azar cases worldwide is 0.5 million and 2.5 million, respectively. Of these, 90% of the confirmed cases occur in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sudan. In India, it is a serious problem in Bihar, West Bengal and eastern Uttar Pradesh where there is under-reporting of kala-azar and post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis in women and children 0-9 years of age.