Cutaneous leishmaniasis: an emerging infection in a non-endemic area and a brief update

Rastogi, V.; Nirwan, P. S.
July 2007
Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology;Jul2007, Vol. 25 Issue 3, p272
Academic Journal
journal article
We report here the emergence of a new focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) due to Leishmania tropica (L. tropica) in the Ajmer city of Rajasthan, India, a previously non-endemic area. Between January-February 2006, 13 new indigenously acquired cases of CL were diagnosed among the patients attending the Skin and STD department, JLN Hospital, Ajmer. The diagnosis was based on clinical presentation, demonstration of amastigotes (LT bodies) in Giemsa stained smear of the lesion and response to intralesional / local anti-leishmanial drug therapy. In addition, culture of the promastigote forms of L. tropica from the lesion was successfully attempted in four of the smear negatives cases. By retrospective analysis, 23 new indigenous cases of CL have been diagnosed in the same setting during the period January 2004 - December 2005, based on clinical and therapeutic response alone. There was no clear-cut history of sandfly bite and travel outside the district or state to endemic area in any of the cases. However, all of them came from a common residential area (famous dargah of Ajmer) and the peak incidence was seen in January, four months after the famous Urs fair of Ajmer, the location was urban and the lesions were characteristic of L. tropica. Therefore, the disease is suspected to be anthroponotic. These features are suggestive of a common mode of transmission, source and/or vector signalling introduction of this infection into a non-endemic area.


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