Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- Leishmaniasis facts
- What is leishmaniasis?
- What are the different types of leishmaniasis?
- What causes leishmaniasis? How is leishmaniasis transmitted?
- What are risk factors for leishmaniasis?
- What are leishmaniasis symptoms and signs?
- How is leishmaniasis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for leishmaniasis?
- What is the prognosis of leishmaniasis?
- Can leishmaniasis be prevented?
- Where can people get more information about leishmaniasis?
Can leishmaniasis be prevented?
Leishmaniasis can be prevented by avoiding the bite of the sand fly. Simple insect precautions, including protective clothing (long sleeves, long pants, socks) and insect repellents containing N,N-diethylmetatoluamide (DEET), reduce the risk of bites. Because sand flies are most active in the evening and nighttime, efforts should be made to reduce exposure in sleeping accommodations. Sand flies are very small and are even smaller than mosquitoes. Finely meshed bed nets may be used and may be impregnated with insecticides such as permethrin (Elimite, NIX) or deltamethrin. Sand flies are weak fliers, so bed nets should be tucked under mattresses. Clothing may also be treated with permethrin to repel insects. Domestic dogs can be fitted with an insecticide-containing collar, such as the Scalibor collar, which contains deltamethrin.
From a larger perspective, treatment of infected animals and people along with judicious use of insecticide has the potential to reduce the burden of infection in endemic areas. This approach is being tried in several regions with mixed success. There is no vaccine that is currently approved for human use, but research in this area is ongoing.
Where can people get more information about leishmaniasis?
- The CDC has an excellent web site with information regarding leishmaniasis: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/leishmaniasis/.
- Additional information is available from the World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/leishmaniasis/en/.
Medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Infectious Disease
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