The host immune response has a critical role not only in protection from human leishmaniasis but also in promoting disease severity. Although candidate gene approaches in mouse models of leishmaniasis have been extremely informative, a global understanding of the immune pathways active in lesions from human patients is lacking. To address this issue, genome-wide transcriptional profiling of Leishmania braziliensis-infected cutaneous lesions and normal skin controls was carried out. A signature of the L. braziliensis skin lesion was defined, which includes over 2,000 differentially regulated genes. Pathway-level analysis of this transcriptional response revealed key biological pathways present in cutaneous lesions, generating a testable 'metapathway' model of immunopathology and providing new insights for treatment of human leishmaniasis.