Leishmania Donovani

by Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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    00:00 So that's leishmania braziliensis. Then we have visceral leishmaniasis, which is the more serious disease in terms of mortality. And this is called by leishmania donovani.

    00:12 And again the lifecycle is very similar. We have sandflies delivering flagellated forms to the tissues by a bite again, but these enter macrophages as before. You don't have a lesion forming at the bite site, but then these macrophages go to other tissues such as the liver and other internal tissues, they deliver the parasites to those organs where they replicate, induce cell death and damage the organs. That's why we call it visceral leishmaniasis. And once again the sandflies can pick up the flagellated forms, or the amistigote forms from the infected host, whether it’d be human or an animal and start the cycle all over again. So this is visceral leishmaniasis and again this is the one associated with substantial death. And the manifestation of visceral leishmaniasis, the disease is called Kala-azar, which means black fever, because the skin of the victims often turns a dark color at the height of infection. It has a 3 to 6 month incubation period, after the time that the sandfly delivers the parasite by a bite; it takes 3 to 6 months for the symptoms of Kala-azar to become evident. And after the black skin, or the black appearance of the skin that gives the disease its name, it is associated also with high fever and splenomegaly, swollen spleen, sometimes swollen liver and on this individual who has Kala-azar, you can see the spleen and liver have been outlined and you can see his belly is very distended as a consequence of this damage caused by replication of the parasite. Now this infection is also associated with anemia. You can also have congenital Kala-azar, if you are infected while pregnant; the parasites of course have the ability to go all over in the circulation. They can certainly enter the fetus and cause substantial damage there as well. So this is something you absolutely want to avoid, but in areas where the vector is present and the parasite is present, very difficult to avoid without good vector control.

    02:34 After this entire infection is over, there is an event called post Kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis.

    02:44 About 20% of the infections proceed to this point and these are associated with a most unusual presentation. Here we show a gentleman's face which is covered with these puffy swollen lesions and this can occur all over the body. It looks horrid if you look up the photographs online you can see, interestingly and amazingly, it all goes away after the parasite is gone.

    03:09 So this is some kind of dermal reaction that occurs well after the initial disease.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Leishmania Donovani by Vincent Racaniello, PhD is from the course Parasites.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Internal organs
    2. Skin
    3. Mucus membrane
    4. Salivary glands
    5. Lacrimal glands
    1. Leishmania Donovani
    2. Leishmania Mexicana
    3. Leishmania tropica
    4. Leishmania braziliensis
    5. Leishmania aethiopica
    1. 3 to 6 months
    2. 1 to 3 months
    3. 6 to 9 months
    4. 9 to 12 months
    5. 7 to 9 months
    1. High fever and splenomegaly
    2. Black saliva
    3. Jaundice
    4. Renal failure
    5. Cerebral edema

    Author of lecture Leishmania Donovani

     Vincent Racaniello, PhD

    Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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