Leishmaniasis, an emerging infection in travelers

Int J Infect Dis. 2010 Dec;14(12):e1032-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2010.06.019. Epub 2010 Oct 16.


Leishmaniasis is a vector-borne protozoan infection with a wide clinical spectrum, which ranges from asymptomatic infection to fatal visceral leishmaniasis. A review of the recent literature indicates a sharp increase in imported leishmaniasis cases in developed, non-endemic countries over the last decade, in association with increasing international tourism, military operations, and the influx of immigrants from endemic countries. South America is the main area for the acquisition of cutaneous leishmaniasis, and adventure travelers on long-term trips in highly-endemic forested areas are at particular risk. Popular Mediterranean destinations are emerging as the main areas of acquisition of visceral leishmaniasis for European travelers. Leishmaniasis should be considered in patients presenting with a compatible clinical syndrome and a history of travel to an endemic area, even if this occurred several months or years ago. Appropriate counseling should be provided to adventure travelers, military personnel, researchers, and other groups of travelers likely to be exposed to sandflies in endemic areas.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / diagnosis
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / epidemiology
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Leishmania / classification
  • Leishmania / isolation & purification
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / diagnosis*
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / epidemiology*
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / prevention & control
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / diagnosis*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / epidemiology*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / prevention & control
  • Psychodidae / parasitology
  • Travel*