Epidemiology, disease patterns, immunology, diagnosis, treatment and control measures of leishmaniasis are described. Various issues relating to leishmaniasis are highlighted: the relative lack of importance given to this disease is compared with other infections, climate change and its possible effect on extension of endemicity of this infection, and new diagnostic tests that are helping better diagnosis, especially in resource-poor areas. Other important aspects discussed include the potential for newer oral treatment to change the way this disease is managed; leishmania–HIV coinfection and groups at risk; and the development of an effective vaccine.
- PCR, polymerase chain reaction
- PKDL, post-kala azar dermal leishmaniasis
- Sb(V), pentavalent antiminy
- Th, T helper
- TNFα, tumour necrosis factor α
- INFγ, interferon γ
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Competing interests: None.