PRO/AH/EDR> Leishmaniasis – Americas (11): USA, Leishmania mexicana, endemic


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Thu 19 Oct 2023
Source: CBS News [edited]

Once thought to be a danger largely reserved for travelers, a
flesh-eating parasite known as Leishmania Mexicana is now likely
spreading locally through some sand flies native to the southern U.S.,
a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis has

Skin sores caused by Leishmania mexicana typically erupt weeks to
months after people are bitten by an infected fly. The parasite can
continue to inflict damage for years, leading to long-term scarring in
its wake.

Hospitals have some options for drugs to use in trying to treat
patients suffering from this disease caused by the parasite, which
doctors call cutaneous leishmaniasis, though experts acknowledge there
is “low certainty” about their effectiveness. Many patients who
initially respond to treatment remain at risk of their leishmaniasis

No vaccine is available for leishmaniasis.

The immediate concern triggered by the discovery is raising awareness
of the parasite, officials say, which now appears to be “endemic” in
Texas as well as some southern border states.

“This genetic information adds credence to this idea that
leishmaniasis is occurring here in the United States, it’s endemic
here in the United States, at least in Texas and maybe southern border
states,” Dr. Mary Kamb, of the CDC’s Division of Parasitic Diseases
and Malaria, said in an interview with CBS News.

Kamb co-authored the new findings, which were released Thursday [19
Oct 2023] in an abstract at the annual meeting of the American Society
of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

A “very distinct” genetic fingerprint

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.