A new outbreak of cutaneous leishmaniasis is confirmed in Iraq by recent research.
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), which is spread to humans by sandfly bites, can cause skin ulcers and eventually remain as disfiguring scars. The disease is found in 98 countries around the world-- most of them among the poorest, and infects millions of people. Understanding which species and strains of the parasite are present in any given region is key to launching control programs to stop its spread.
In the new work, Mariwan Al-Bajalan, of the University of Garmian, Iraq, and colleagues analyzed epidemiological data on CL cases in Iraq spanning 1989 through 2015, and collected 30 samples from the skin lesions of newly diagnosed CL patients in the Garmian area between February and April 2017. Each sample was processed and tested for Leishmaniagenes.
"This region can be regarded as a model for further study of epidemic CL outbreaks to other non-endemic regions," the researchers say. "The findings are also significant for future creation of vaccines against the Leishmania strain in Iraq and it is important to understand the global prevalence and epidemiology of the Leishmania strains."