Experience with New World cutaneous leishmaniasis in travelers

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Oct;49(4):672-8. doi: 10.1067/s0190-9622(03)01576-7.


In recent years, New World cutaneous leishmaniasis has been seen at a higher incidence among returning Israeli travelers. Leishmania braziliensis and related species cause unsightly cutaneous lesions possibly complicated with a mucosal disease. A total of 12 patients with New World cutaneous leishmaniasis were treated in our clinic, 11 of whom (92%) acquired the disease in the Bolivian Amazon Basin. Five (42%) had regional lymphadenopathy in addition to cutaneous lesions. Polymerase chain reaction was performed for 8 patients to identify the causative Leishmania species. In all, 9 patients (75%) were cured by a single course, and 3 (25%) after an additional course of intravenous sodium stibogluconate. The treatment was well tolerated clinically. Laboratory abnormalities, mainly elevation of liver enzymes (58%), were reversible. We concluded that polymerase chain reaction is a useful tool in establishing the species diagnosis of leishmaniasis and that sodium stibogluconate appears to be a safe and effective treatment for L braziliensis infection.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antimony Sodium Gluconate / administration & dosage
  • Antimony Sodium Gluconate / adverse effects
  • Antimony Sodium Gluconate / therapeutic use*
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / adverse effects
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / diagnosis*
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Travel*


  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Antimony Sodium Gluconate