Clinical features and diagnosis of 42 travellers with cutaneous leishmaniasis.Travel Med Infect Dis. 2006 Jan; 4(1):14-21.TM
Leishmania species that occur within different geographical areas may cause different clinical manifestations, virulence and drug sensitivity. Patients/Methods. All patients with a clinical diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis seen at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases from 1997 to 2000 were identified and clinical details recorded onto a database, with emphasis on clinical presentation, risk factors, travel history and laboratory diagnosis.
Forty-two patients were identified, 23 of whom had travelled to New World and 19 to Old World countries. Clinical presentation typically consisted of a single nodule with ulceration. In 50% infection was caused by L. (Viannia) braziliensis. PCR was performed in specimens from 34 patients and species identification was possible in 32 cases (sensitivity 94%), the two PCR negative patients had amastigotes demonstrated by histology and culture. Patients were treated with established therapies. Seventy one percent were cured by treatment, 12% had a spontaneous cure, 7% were lost to follow-up and the remaining 10% required a second-line therapy. No relapses were reported during a mean follow-up period of 27 months.
Our study highlights the need for comprehensive investigations and the advantages of PCR in the diagnosis of patients with suspected leishmaniasis in non-endemic regions of the world.