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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,014
Online ISSN 1827-1820
Walsh D. S.
Department of Clinical Trials Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Silver Spring, MD, USA
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), a parasitic skin disease transmitted by sand flies, has been common in soldiers serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom (Gulf War 2, began 2003). Active CL lesions on the face or hands cause stigma and, upon healing, potentially unsightly scarring. Prompt therapy of CL speeds healing and likely improves cosmetic outcome. This has prompted renewed interest among clinicians in becoming re-acquainted with the clinical features of CL, as well as diagnostic and treatment options. In the US Army, well-established diagnostic procedures include Giemsa-stained lesional skin smear or punch biopsy, as well as highly sensitive polymerase chain reaction. Therapies for CL in soldiers include local heat application (ThermoMed™), cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen), oral fluconazole or intraconzole, and intravenous sodium stibogluconate (pentavalent antimony, Pentostam®). Paromomycin, a promising anti-Leishmania aminoglycoside topical preparation that is safe, convenient and cost effective, and already commercially available in some countries, is under investigation by the US Army as a combined paromomycin-gentamicin topical formulation. This review describes current and in-development diagnostic and therapeutic options for CL acquired in the Middle East or Southwest Asia.