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Epidemiological characteristics of cutaneous american leishmaniasis in an endemic region of the state of bahia brazil


, : Epidemiological characteristics of cutaneous american leishmaniasis in an endemic region of the state of bahia brazil. Boletin de la Oficina Sanitaria Panamericana 90(5): 415-424

A study of the epidemiological characteristics of cutaneous American leishmaniasis was made in Tres Bracos, a region in the southeastern part of the state of Bahia, Brazil. Of 853 persons examined, 28.4% had active lesions and/or the typical scars of the disease; 82 (9.6%) of them presented active lesions; and 161 (18.8%) had scars. Of the 82 patients with active disease, 67.1% had cutaneous lesions and 32.9% had mucocutaneous or mucosal forms with nasal lesions predominanting. Possibly, although the disease is no longer transmitted in the village of Tres Bracos, there is a low but constant incidence of infection in children, youths and adults who spend time on the plantations. It is absent in the 0.4 yr old group and the incidence in the 5-9 yr old group is low in comparison to that in older children. The Montenegro skin test was positive in 82.2% of patients with active lesions, in 90.8% of subjects with typical scars and in 1.8% of persons with no indication of the disease. Strains of Leishmania mexicana and L. brasiliensis were isolated in hamsters. The main features that characterize the epidemiological model of cutaneous American leishmaniasis in the region are long duration of the endemia; active transmission in children, youths and adults, regardless of sex, who spend time on plantations, presence of infected dogs; no evidence of household transmission; and presence of L. mexicana and L. brasiliensis.

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