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New World cutaneous leishmaniasis: Updated review of current and future diagnosis and treatment - 24/04/13

Doi : 10.1016/j.jaad.2009.06.088 
Panagiotis Mitropoulos, DO , Pete Konidas, PharmD, Mindy Durkin-Konidas, PharmD
Camp Long Troop Medical Clinic, South Korea 

Reprint requests: Panagiotis Mitropoulos, DO, 75th Medical Company, Unit 15190, Camp Humphreys, APO, AP 96297.



Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) has traditionally been underrecognized and underreported. Improved awareness is warranted as the number of cases has increased as a result of increased travel to endemic countries, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and the larger number of military and contract workers deployed overseas.


We sought to present a systematic review of evidence from a gamut of research trials on the treatment efficacy of different regimens and aggregate this knowledge for use as a guide for clinical practice decisions.


We performed a comprehensive search of print and electronic sources to identify the accumulated research information on New World CL.


Topical treatment of New World CL lesions is generally not recommended. Findings support the systemic administration of pentavalent antimonials as first-line treatment. Exception to this is infection with L guyanensis in French Guiana where systemic pentamidine is suggested as first-line treatment.


The reliability of the findings of this review of research evidence is dependent on the individual quality and potential bias in its component principal trials. There was a conscious attempt to only include evidence derived from randomized controlled studies, with adequate randomization, adequate patient numbers, and complete follow-up information. However, because of the relatively small number of such studies on New World CL, evidence from nonrandomized studies and case series studies was also considered.


The pentavalent antimony compounds remain the first-line treatment choice for the treatment of New World CL. Concerns with cost, availability, poor compliance, and systemic toxicity, however, may compel clinicians to opt for alternative treatment modalities. Some advances in the development of an antileishmanial vaccine have been made but none is yet available for clinic use. The increase, over recent years, in the incidence of CL warrants an enhanced effort to increase awareness of the disease, assure timely diagnosis, and implement effective management and treatment strategies.

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Key words : cutaneous, diagnosis, leishmaniasis, New World, treatment

Abbreviations used : CL, FDA, IL, IM, IV


 Funding sources: None.
 Conflicts of interest: None declared.

© 2009  American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.. Publié par Elsevier Masson SAS. Tous droits réservés.
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Vol 63 - N° 2

P. 309-322 - août 2010 Retour au numéro
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