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Global Health
February 21, 2017

Atypical Leishmaniasis Linked to Genetic Variants of Leishmania

JAMA. 2017;317(7):687. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.0055

Cases of atypical cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) occurring in Brazil appear to be caused by genetically distinct strains of Leishmania braziliensis, according to a report from a team of investigators from Brazil and the United States.

Four distinct forms of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), the parasitic disease transmitted by sandflies that affects the skin and upper airways, are recognized in Brazil. They include infections characterized by localized skin lesions to more diffuse forms that have disseminated to other parts of the body. However, another form of leishmaniasis has been described in northeastern Brazil that presents with different symptoms and is resistant to the front-line drug, antimony, used to treat the disease in Brazil.

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