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Leishmaniasis: an overlooked public health concern

Leishmaniasis is a protozoan disease that represents an emergent threat with high morbidity and mortality rates. The disease is endemic in areas of the tropics, subtropics and in the southern Europe. Currently, leishmaniasis has a wider geographical distribution than before and this is mainly attributed to the constant increase of leishmaniasis’ risk factors that include migration, environmental changes, deforestation, urbanization, immunosuppression and malnutrition. Thus, leishmaniasis is a potential threat for several areas. This article reviews on the clinical and epidemiological features of leishmaniasis. Based on disease epidemiology and analyzing the associated risk factors, several prevention measures are being discussed in detail. Taking into consideration the lack of a commercially available vaccine, the lack of access to efficient drug therapy mainly in the developing countries, the limited local resources of the affected countries, it is concluded that elimination of the disease is still a challenge for the international health community.

Author(s): Zavitsanou Assimina

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