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Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease that is caused by the Leishmania parasite. The parasite is typically transmitted through sand flies. There are three forms of this disease caused by different species of the parasite. The cutaneous leishmaniasis affects the skin and is not usually serious. The visceral Leishmaniasis affects the internal organs and can be life threatening and the mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis can cause partial or complete destruction of the mucous membranes of your nose, throat and mouth.
HOW IS LEISHMANIASIS DIAGNOSED?
Tests that may be done to diagnose the condition include:
• Biopsy of the spleen and culture
• Bone marrow biopsy and culture
• Direct agglutination assay
• Indirect immunofluorescent antibody test
• Leishmania-specific PCR test
• Liver biopsy and culture
• Lymph node biopsy and culture
• Montenegro skin test (not approved in the United States)
• Skin biopsy and culture
• Complete blood count
• Serologic testing
• Serum albumin
• Serum immunoglobulin levels
• Serum protein
HOW IS LEISHMANIASIS TREATED?
Visceral leishmaniasis are treated with medications that contain antimony such as meglumine antimoniate and sodium stibogluconate.
DID YOU KNOW?
Symptoms depend on the form of disease. There will be skin ulcers in cutaneous leishmaniasis, while in case of mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis, there will be nosebleeds and stuffy nose after the skin lesions subside. In case of the visceral Leishmaniasis, symptoms may appear after months of infestation of the parasite and may range from fatigue, weight loss, cough, fever, enlarged spleen, enlarged liver, hair fall and dry skin.