Leishmaniasis

From Academic Kids

Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by parasites that belong to the genus Leishmania and is transmitted by the bite of certain species of sand fly. Synonyms for leishmaniasis include kala azar, Black Fever, sandfly disease and Dum-Dum fever. The disease is named for William Boog Leishman. Most forms of the disease are transmittable only from animals (zoonosis), but some can be spread between people.

Epidemiology

It can be transmitted in many tropical and sub-tropical countries, although the preponderance of cases (more than 90 percent of the world's cases) occur in Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal and Sudan.

Leishmaniasis is present in Iraq and was contracted by a number of the troops involved in the 2003 invasion of that country and the subsequent occupation. The soldiers nicknamed the disease the Baghdad boil. It has been reported by the Agence France-Presse that more than 650 U.S. soldiers may have experienced the disease between the start of the invasion in March 2003 and late 2004. [1] (http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/index.cfm?page=Article&ID=2377) [2] (http://www.sptimes.com/2004/06/09/Business/Company_s_mesh_will_h.shtml)

During 2004, it is calculated that some 3,400 troops from the Colombian army, operating in the jungles near the south of the country (in particular around the Meta and Guaviare departments), were infected with Leishmaniasis. Apparently, a contributing factor was that many of the affected soldiers did not use the officially provided insect repelent, because of its allegedly disturbing odor. It is estimated that nearly 13,000 cases of the disease were recorded in all of Colombia throughout 2004, and about 360 new instances of the disease among soldiers had been reported in February 2005. [3] (http://www.elcolombiano.terra.com.co/BancoConocimiento/L/leishmaniasis_un_brote_serio/leishmaniasis_un_brote_serio.asp) [4] (http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:diJokUgs7NEJ:eltiempo.terra.com.co/coar/ACC_MILITARES/accionesarmadas/ARTICULO-WEB-_NOTA_INTERIOR-1963986.html+repelente+colombia+leishmaniasis&hl=es) [5] (http://www.serviciojesuitaarefugiados-vzla.org/informes/infront-feb2005.html)

The disease is not found in Australia or Oceania.

Signs and symptoms

The symptoms of leishmaniasis are skin sores which erupt weeks to months after the person affected is bitten by sand flies. Other consequences, which can become manifest anywhere from a few months to years after infection, include fever, damage to the spleen and liver, and anaemia.

In the medical field, leishmaniasis is one of the famous causes of a markedly enlarged spleen (larger even than the liver). There are four main forms of leishmaniasis:

There are two common therapies containing antimony, antimoniate de méglumine (Glucantime) and sodium stibogluconate (Pentostam). It is not completely understood how these drugs act against the parasite, possibly by disrupting its energy production or trypanothione metabolism.

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