Leishmaniasis

Burden and distribution

© Lama Jalouk. Syrian Arab Republic, 2010
© Lama Jalouk. Syrian Arab Republic, 2010
Major epidemics of cutaneous Leishmaniasis have affected different parts Afghanistan and the Syrian Arab Republic

Recurrent epidemics of visceral Leishmaniasis in East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Sudan) have caused high morbidity and mortality in affected communities. Likewise, major epidemics of cutaneous Leishmaniasis have affected different parts Afghanistan and the Syrian Arab Republic.

Over 90% of visceral leishmaniasis cases occur in six countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, South Sudan and Sudan.

The majority of cutaneous Leishmaniasis cases occur in Afghanistan, Algeria, Brazil, Colombia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia and the Syrian Arab Republic.

Anthroponotic cutaneous Leishmaniasis (where humans are the major reservoir of the parasite) is predominantly urban and periurban, and shows patterns of spatial clustering similar to those of anthroponotic visceral Leishmaniasis in South Asia. The disease is usually characterized by large outbreaks in densely populated cities, especially in war and conflicts zones, refugee camps and in settings where there are large-scale migration of populations.

The epidemiology of cutaneous Leishmaniasis in the Region of the Americas is complex, with intra- and inter-specific variation in transmission cycles, reservoir hosts, sandfly vectors, clinical manifestations and response to therapy, and multiple circulating Leishmania species in the same geographical area.

Almost 90% of mucocutaneous leishmaniasis cases occurs in the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Brazil and Peru.

Leishmaniasis in the news

02 June 2015 | Geneva
Cutaneous leishmaniasis: control in selected countries of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean and African Regions
Report of an interregional network meeting, Casablanca, Morocco, 23–24 June 2014


02 June 2015 | Geneva
Leishmaniasis: strengthening cross-border collaboration for control in central Asian and middle-eastern countries of the WHO European and Eastern Mediterranean Regions
Report of a bi-regional meeting, Awaza, Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan, 18–20 November 2014