What is Leishmania, Leishmaniasis, types, causes and treatment

What is Leishmania, Leishmaniasis, types, causes, symptoms and treatment 

Leishmania is a parasitic disease, which is caused by leishmania parasite. This parasite lives in the infected sand or mud.

One can contract the disease from the bite of infected sand fly.

The particular parasite lives in tropical and subtropical environments.


There are different types of leishmania 

1) Cutaneous Leishmaniasis

2) Mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis

3) Visceral Leishmaniasis


It is caused due to a protozoan parasite from leishmania species.This parasite lives and multiplies inside the female sand fly.Domestic animals like dogs, cat’s serves as a reservoir for this parasite.

Transmission occurs from animals to sand fly and then to humans. 


Who is at risk for Leishmaniasis


This disease is found everywhere in the world except Australia and Antarctica.

It can more likely be found in

1) The Americas

2) Central Asian

3) Mediterranean basin

4) Middle East

5) Brazil

6) Ethiopia

7) India

8) Kenya

9) Somalia

10) South Sudan

11) Sudan

Living in tropical areas is much risky for the disease.



1. For Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL)

Cutaneous Leishmaniasis is the most common form of leishmania Skin ulcers are produced on skin, seen as a fly bite, it may get worse.


1. For mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis

Usually symptoms for this type appears after 4 5 years of the disease.

Symptoms like:

Runny nose

Stuffy nose

Nose bleeds 

Short breathes may occur.


2. For visceral Leishmaniasis

Visceral Leishmaniasis is the most serious type of the disease. Usually after two to six months symptoms may appear, which includes

Weight loss,



Enlarged spleen 




Antiphrastic drugs like amphotericin B may be helpful. Cutaneous ulcers can be treated with no treatment. Liposomal amphotericin B and paromomycin can treat mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis and visceral Leishmaniasis.

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PhD Scholar Microbiology M.D PARAGON Diagnostic & Research Laboratories-PDRL, Peshawar