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A Comprehensive Review of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Sri Lanka and Identification of Existing Knowledge Gaps

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Sri Lanka is endemic to cutaneous leishmaniasis and reported as the latest focus of leishmaniasis in the Asian subcontinent. Annually, the number of leishmaniasis cases is increasing; therefore, more efficient diagnostic tools, treatment methods and effective prevention measures are indispensable. For this reason, many studies were conducted regarding leishmaniasis infections in Sri Lanka; however, some areas need more attention. Thus, in this review, we comprehensively discussed the studies on leishmaniasis carried out in Sri Lanka.


Published articles on leishmaniasis in Sri Lanka were searched on PubMed, Google Scholar and ResearchGate databases. Inclusion criteria for the articles were based on keyword searches including ‘Leishmaniasis in Sri Lanka’, ‘Leishmaniasis vector in Sri Lanka’, ‘Sandfly species in Sri Lanka’, ‘Leishmaniasis epidemiology in Sri Lanka’ which are publicly accessible as of 15th July 2019.


In this study, we evaluated and summarized the leishmaniasis reports in Sri Lanka and mainly focused on clinical presentation of leishmaniasis infection, genetic characteristics of Leishmania donovani Sri Lankan strain, geographical distribution and associated environmental factors, immunological aspects of the infection, vector, reservoir host, risk factors, diagnosis and treatment, and prevention and control. Furthermore, we identified the areas where further research is needed to fill the essential knowledge gaps.


Leishmaniasis has become a critically important parasitic infection in Sri Lanka, whereas the significant clinical form is cutaneous leishmaniasis. Prevalence of the leishmaniasis infections is reported from all the districts of the country. Therefore, more studies are essential to be carried out to fill the existing knowledge gaps emphasized in this review.

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Amarasinghe, A., Wickramasinghe, S. A Comprehensive Review of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Sri Lanka and Identification of Existing Knowledge Gaps. Acta Parasit. (2020). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-020-00174-6

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  • Cutanaous leishmaniasis
  • Sri Lanka
  • Leishmania donovani
  • Phlebotomus spp.
  • Sergentomia spp.