Author(s): Hide M, Bucheton B, Kamhawi S, BrasGoncalves R, Sundar S
Leishmaniasis has been known for many hundreds of years, with one of the first clinical descriptions made in 1756 by Alexander Russell and called Aleppo boil. Many names cor- respond to this group of diseases: kala-azar, Dum-dum fever, white leprosy, espundia, pian bois, and so on. Leishmaniases are parasitic diseases spread by the bite of the infected female phlebotomine sand fly (Fig. 6.1). Leishmaniases are caused by approximately 20 species, pathogenic for humans, belonging to the genus Leishmania (kinetoplastids order, Honigberg, 1963) and within 500 known phlebotomine species, of which only some 30 have been positively identified as vectors of these pathogenic species.