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Leishmaniasis

by Vincent Racaniello, PhD
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    00:01 which are medically important. These species have different disease outcomes and have different global distributions. On the left, you have the distribution of a disease we call cutaneous leishmaniasis. This is a disease as you will see that mainly affects the skin and on the right is visceral leishmaniasis, where the parasite causes disease in your internal organs.

    00:29 Now you can see by just a glance at these two maps, that the distributions are overlapping but not identical. If we look at cutaneous first on the left, the darker countries have more cases, so you can see Central and South America have a number of cases, Africa, the north western part of the country and Egypt, Central Asia and that's cutaneous. Now on the right, if you look at visceral leishmaniasis, you see Central and South America as well, but now a different distribution on the eastern part of Africa and particularly high levels of cases in India. And these are reflection of in part that the animals that are infected and the vectors that transmit them. Now one of the species leishmania donovani causes visceral leishmaniasis. It's a very serious disease. There are about 300,000 cases a year and as you'll see on the map on the right, the lower right, many of them in South America, Eastern Africa and India. 300,000 cases per year and 20,000 deaths. That's leishmania donovani.

    01:45 Two strains, leishmania tropica and leishmania mexicana cause cutaneous leishmaniasis. This is again a lesion in the skin, a million cases in the past five years or so, that's the graph on the top and this is not a life-threatening disease, but the lesions can be disfiguring.

    02:07 If they occur on the face, you will have a lesion for the rest of your life and it will be seen of course. The fourth strain, leishmania brazilienesis causes muco-cutaneous leishmaniasis.

    02:24 These are lesions on the skin, but they also tend to travel to muco-cutaneous membranes, as we will see in a moment.

    02:32 Leishmania are obligate intracellular parasites, they need to get inside of cells in order to reproduce, although of course there are extracellular phases in which the parasites can move about the body. All of these leishmania infections are transmitted by the bite of a phlebotomous sandfly. Now you may know that the word phlebotomous means blood drawing and that's because these flies like to drink your blood and have it as a meal and in so doing, they transmit leishmaniasis. Leishmaniases are zoonotic infections, they are principally infections of animals of various kinds, the human becomes infected when the vector transmit the parasite from an animal to a human. Now some transmission does occur from human to human in areas where the parasite is endemic, but for the most part it's considered as a zoonotic infection.


    About the Lecture

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


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Liver
    2. Superficial skin
    3. Cutaneous tissue
    4. Salivary gland
    5. Lacrimal glands
    1. Leishmania braziliensis
    2. Leishmania Mexicana
    3. Leishmania tropica
    4. Leishmania donovani
    5. Leishmania aethiopica
    1. Phlebotomus sandfly
    2. Male Anopheline mosquito
    3. Sporothrix Schenckii
    4. Ixodes Scapularis
    5. Mansonia Mosquito

    Author of lecture Leishmaniasis

     Vincent Racaniello, PhD

    Vincent Racaniello, PhD


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