Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
Like 0


Leishmaniasis is an imported disease in the Netherlands. We report data for the period between 2005 and 2012, on clinical presentation, country where leishmaniasis was acquired, and causative species, for 195 civilian and military patients who had travelled abroad. Most patients were affected by cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) (n=185 patients), while visceral leishmaniasis (VL) (n=8 patients) and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (n=2 patients) were less frequently observed. All VL patients had been infected in Europe. CL was mainly acquired in Afghanistan, Surinam, Morocco and Spain. The majority of CL patients consisted of military personnel (55%, 102/185), 78 of whom had been infected during an outbreak in Afghanistan. Parasitological diagnosis was made by a combination of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), microscopy and culture. Compared to a standard of parasitological proof by any method other than the one under consideration, sensitivities of the individual methods ranged from 73% to 98%. Microscopy was least sensitive, but is fast and cheap. Mini-exon repeat PCR combines high sensitivity and specificity, and allows differentiation between species by sequencing of the PCR product. Eight different species or species complexes were identified, allowing species-specific therapy. Four patients proved infected with Leishmania naiffi, a hitherto rarely described cause of leishmaniasis. In comparison to previous decennia, an increase in cutaneous leishmaniasis was observed in our hospital, both in civilian and military patients who had travelled abroad. This calls for increased awareness among clinicians, availability of diagnostic tests and species-specific treatment guidelines in non-endemic countries.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error