Journal Article

Treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis among travellers

J. Blum, P. Desjeux, E. Schwartz, B. Beck and C. Hatz

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 53, issue 2, pages 158-166
Published in print February 2004 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online February 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis among travellers

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  • Medical Oncology
  • Critical Care


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Leishmaniasis is endemic in 88 countries on five continents. There are 1–1.5 million cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis reported yearly worldwide. There has been a sharp increase in recorded cases over the last 10 years. Based on geographical distribution, cutaneous leishmaniasis is divided into Old World and New World leishmaniasis. In the past, species could be inferred from geographical setting or determined by performing culture and isoenzyme analysis. The recently developed and now widely available PCR technology allows a rapid diagnosis with determination of most species, and thus enables a species-orientated treatment. While the Old World species mostly cause benign and often self-limiting cutaneous disease, the American species cause a broad spectrum of conditions from benign to severe manifestations, including mucosal involvement. The response to treatment varies according to the species. Therefore, a species-specific approach is proposed. Drugs for systemic and topical treatment are presented and discussed with regard to their application, use and adverse effects. Indications for local or systemic treatment are proposed. Drugs under investigation are also mentioned. An overview of published treatment options and a treatment recommendation is given for each of the most important species. The level of evidence of the studies leading to these recommendations is given.

Keywords: Keywords: cutaneous leishmaniasis, travel, systemic treatment, local treatment

Journal Article.  7359 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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