American Tegumentary Leishmaniasis

  • Olga Zerpa
  • Maritza Padrón-Nieves
  • Alicia Ponte-Sucre


American tegumentary leishmaniasis is an endemic anthropozoonosis undergoing expansion on the American continent. The disease is caused by several Leishmania species and thus there are intraspecific parasitological dissimilarities that may generate different pathologies. Furthermore, in America Leishmania spp. has diverse reservoirs (that may change continuously) and can use various vectors to infect humans and mammals. Antimonials are the drugs of choice for the treatment of American tegumentary leishmaniasis; however, their efficacy is not predictable, and this may be linked to parasite drug resistance. This is further complicated by the fact that the etiological parasitic species in America belong to both the Leishmania and the Viannia subgeni. For all these reasons, the identification of the etiological infectious agent—up to the species level—is fundamental for precise clinical diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis and for control of the disease. The present chapter offers a description of American tegumentary leishmaniasis, a fundamental piece of knowledge for the comprehension of the challenges we face for leishmaniasis in times of drug resistance. As a way to better understand the unique scenario that America offers for leishmaniasis, some data related to the figures present in the Old World will be presented.


American tegumentary leishmaniasis Drug resistance Endemic anthropozoonosis Species identification Clinical diagnosis Disease control Dermatological syndrome 



The authors are grateful for the financing support received from the Coordination for Research, Faculty of Medicine, UCV and the Council for Scientific and Humanistic Research (CDCH), Universidad Central de Venezuela. Likewise, they are grateful for the support conferred by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the University of Würzburg through the Siebold-Collegium Institute for Advanced Studies, Germany, to Alicia Ponte-Sucre.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olga Zerpa
    • 1
  • Maritza Padrón-Nieves
    • 2
  • Alicia Ponte-Sucre
    • 2
  1. 1.Emerson Clinical Research InstituteWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Fisiología MolecularInstituto de Medicina Experimental, Escuela Luis Razetti, Universidad Central de VenezuelaCaracasVenezuela

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