Leishmaniasis is a major vector-borne disease caused by obligate intramacrophage protozoa of the genus Leishmania, and transmitted by the bite of phlebotomine female sand flies of the genera Phlebotomus and Lutzomyia, in the old and new worlds, respectively. Among 20 well-recognized Leishmania species known to infect humans, 18 have zoonotic nature, which include agents of visceral, cutaneous, and mucocutaneous forms of the disease, in both the old and new worlds. Currently, leishmaniasis show a wider geographic distribution and increased global incidence. Environmental, demographic and human behaviors contribute to the changing landscape for zoonotic cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis. The primary reservoir hosts of Leishmania are sylvatic mammals such as forest rodents, hyraxes and wild canids, and dogs are the most important species among domesticated animals in the epidemiology of this disease.
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Last date updated on June, 2014