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

20 March 2013 | Geneva
Report of a WHO consultative meeting on developing a manual for case-management, prevention and control of post-kala-azardermal leishmaniasis. Kolkata, India, 2–3 July 2012.

30 May 2012 | Geneva
Leishmaniasis: epidemiology and access to medicines − an update based on the outcomes of WHO regional meetings, literature review and experts' opinion.