Disease focus of the month Leishmaniasis (Kala Azar)

Leishmaniasis is caused by Protozoan Parasite “Leishmania”and Transmitted through the bite of female Phlebotomine Sandflies.

Tropical and subtropical climate is favourable for these parasites leading to as much as 350million population at risk of getting infected by this deadly disease.

There are two types of disease conditions associated with Leishmaniasis:

1. Cutaneous Leishmaniasis affects the skin and the mucous membranes that may lead to further severe conditions such as diffuse cutaneous, which produces lesions spread across the body or Mucocutaneous, which particularly causes tissue damage to nose and mouth.

2. Visceral Leishmaniasis which affects the whole body and particularly attacks the body’s immune system resulting in Co infection with HIV and TB which will eventually be fatal. This form of Leishmaniasis is very difficult to treat.

Symptoms of Leishmaniasis: Cutaneous Leishmaniasis often shows symptoms of breathing difficulties, Skin sores, Mouth ulcers, Nose bleeding etc.

Visceral Leishmaniasis shows sudden onset of Diarrhoea, Vomitting, and Cough associated with fever. Furthermore adults experience the fever conditions ranging from 2 weeks to 2 months along with weakness and fatigueness.

Diagnosis includes complete blood analysis, biopsy of liver, spleen, skin and bone marrow.

Treatments: Medicines containing antimony compounds are commonly used in the treatment of Leishmaniasis. Other drugs such as Amphotericin, Ketaconazole, Miltefosine are also used in the treatment as some parasites have become resistant to antimony compounds.

References:

Pubmed Health, Wikipedia