Endemic and essentially tropical, leishmaniasis is known also as Biskra button, Aleppo button, Orient button, Bagdad button, Cairo button, Bauru ulcer and virulent wound of the Amazon.
In Africa its principal endemic centers are Biskra and Laghouat, Algeria; Tunis; Egypt; Morocco, and Ethiopia. In Oceania it is found in New Caledonia; in the Mediterranean region, in Crete and Cyprus, and in the Western Hemisphere, in Peru, Venezuela, the Guianas, the Antilles, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.
The parasite responsible is a protozoan which was identified in Brazil first by Lindenberg, of São Paulo, in 1904, and later by Pirajá da Silva, in 1911.
The transmitting insect of the disease is probably a phlebotomus.
My first observations on ocular leishmaniasis were in 1916, one of my assistants, Dr. Pedro da Costa, having in that year presented an interesting thesis on this subject before the medical faculty of Bahia.
Later, in 1932, we