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Arch Hellen Med, 22(3), May-June 2005, 239-253


Leishmaniasis: Current aspects on epidemiology, clinical syndromes,
diagnosis, prevention, and treatment

Department of Microbiology "G. Gennimatas" General Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece

Leishmaniasis is characterized by a variety of clinical syndromes, the most severe being that of visceral leishmaniasis. During recent years an increase of disease incidence has been noted in most endemic areas, including Greece. The purpose of this review is to report the progress in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and control of the infection. The three major clinical syndromes (visceral, cutaneous and mucocutaneous) are discussed along with details of the causative Leishmania species, the epidemiological features, the conventional and the newer diagnostic methods, the parasite identification techniques at species and subspecies levels, the new therapeutic options and vector and reservoir control measures. Suspicion of the disease, accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment decrease the mortality from visceral leishmaniasis and contribute to the interruption of the transmission cycle and success of infection control in the countries where the parasitic disease is endemic.

Key words: Clinical syndromes, Leishmaniasis, Leishmania spp, Treatment.

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