alexa A Review on Biology, Epidemiology and Public Health Significance of Leishmaniasis
ISSN: 2155-9597

Journal of Bacteriology & Parasitology
Open Access

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Research Article

A Review on Biology, Epidemiology and Public Health Significance of Leishmaniasis

Dawit G1, Girma Z1 and Simenew K1,2*

1College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Addis Ababa University, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia

2College of Agricultural Sciences, Dilla University, Dilla, Ethiopia

*Corresponding Author:
Simenew K
College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture
Addis Ababa University, Debre Zeit
P.O. Box 34, Ethiopia
Email: [email protected]

Received date: November 20, 2012; Accepted date: January 02, 2013; Published date: January 06, 2013

Citation: Dawit G, Girma Z, Simenew K. (2013) A Review on Biology, Epidemiology and Public Health Significance of Leishmaniasis. J Bacteriol Parasitol 4:166. doi: 10.4172/2155-9597.1000166

Copyright: © 2013 Dawit G, et la. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



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. These parasites have two basic life cycle stages: one extracellular stage within the invertebrate host (phlebotomine sand fly), and one intracellular stage within a vertebrate host. Co-infection with HIV intensifies the burden of visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis by causing severe forms and more difficult to manage. The disease is endemic to Ethiopia, and the clinical signs are not pathognomic. The visceral form (Kala-azar) may be confused with other similar conditions such as malaria, tropical splenomegaly, schistosomiasis, milliary tuberculosis, and
brucellosis. Similarly, cutaneous leishmaniasis should be differentiated from disease like tropical ulcers, impetigo and leprosy. There are several methods of laboratory diagnosis of leishmaniasis, including parasitological, immunological and molecular. Different forms of treatments are available including oral, parenteral, and topical medications such as pentavalent antimonials, liposomal amphotericin B, miltefosine and paromomycin. Methods of control are largely limited to destruction of animal reservoirs, treatment of infected humans, and management of sand fly populations.
Development of an effective vaccine against leishmaniasis has been largely unsuccessful and hinders its prevention.


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