There are two types of leishmaniasis: mucocutaneous and visceral. Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis is often treated with topical medications. Visceral leishmaniasis requires a surgical procedure. Treatment of both forms of the disease involves the use of an antiparasitic drug, known as amphotericin B. It is necessary to get a biopsy to determine the exact location of the lesions.
A biopsy of a patient’s skin tissue or an aspirate of their lymph nodes can confirm cutaneous leishmaniasis. If these tests fail, a blood test called PCR can be used. The CDC provides a list of the most common medications. A PCR test allows the medical practitioner to identify specific species of parasites. The patient’s blood may also be tested to determine the cause of the infection.
Visceral leishmaniasis is the most common form of the disease and is caused by a few subspecies of L. donovani. It causes enlarged liver, spleen, and bone marrow. This type of leishmaniasis is often fatal if not treated properly. In most cases, the disease manifests itself in the form of large ulcers and fever, with severe skin lesions.
Although most cases of leishmaniasis occur in travelers, some cases occur in the United States. In the U.S., most people with the disease have been exposed to the sand fly vector. However, in some areas, humans are the primary source of recurrent infection and transmission. In these cases, it’s possible for a human to get infected with the parasite. It is important to note that leishmaniasis is not confined to tropical areas.