A case of mucocutaneous leishmaniasis diagnosed by serology

J Dermatol. 2014 Aug;41(8):739-42. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.12564. Epub 2014 Jul 16.


A 43-year-old Japanese Bolivian male had been suffering from a right leg ulcer after an insect bite during his residence in Bolivia. The ulcer healed after herbal medicine treatment. Ten years later, the patient had symptoms of nasal obstruction, nasal bleeding, and pharyngodynia, which were accompanied by a destructive ulcer with surrounding erythema involving the right nostril apex and columella. Papillary, irregular mucosal lesions were seen on the soft palate. Giemsa staining and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using biopsy specimens of the papillary mucosal lesions on the soft palate failed to identify Leishmania parasites. However, the IgG antibody test was positive for Leishmania (Leishmania) donovani, and the dot enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (dot-ELISA) using five Leishmania antigens L. (L.) mexicana, L. (L.) amazonensis, Leishmania (Viannia) guyanensis, L. (V.) braziliensis, and L. (V.) panamensis was positive. Combined, the findings suggested mucocutaneous leishmaniasis. Treatment with liposomal amphotericin B was started but was soon terminated because of palpitation, epigastralgia and facial flushing. It is sometimes difficult to identify the parasites in lesions of mucocutaneous leishmaniasis and serological tests are useful for such occasions.

Keywords: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; leishmaniasis; liposomal amphotericin B; mucocutaneous leishmaniasis; serologic diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / blood
  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Bolivia / ethnology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Japan
  • Leishmania / immunology
  • Leishmaniasis, Mucocutaneous / diagnosis*
  • Leishmaniasis, Mucocutaneous / immunology
  • Leishmaniasis, Mucocutaneous / pathology
  • Male
  • Serologic Tests


  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Immunoglobulin G