Leishmaniasis acquired by travellers to endemic regions in Europe - a EuroTravNet multi-centre study

Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by protozoan parasites which belong to the genus
Leishmania. Important clinical manifestations of leishmaniasis include cutaneous
leishmaniasis (CL) and visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Currently, leishmaniasis occurs in all
continents with the exception of Antarctica and is considered to be endemic in 88
countries. About 90% of cases with leishmaniasis occur in the tropics or subtropics but
the disease is also endemic in the Mediterranean area including countries like
Macedonia, Croatia, Greece, Italy and Southern parts of France and the Iberian
peninsula, where it is transmitted by sandflies of the genera Phlebotomus.
It has been estimated that around 700 new cases of leishmaniasis occur in southern
European countries. To date, no systematic analysis on leishmaniasis in European
travellers visiting endemic areas in Europe is available. Within the European travel
medicine network EuroTravNet (www.eurotravnet.eu), we performed a retrospective
analysis in travellers from non-endemic countries who acquired leishmaniasis in Europe
diagnosed within the years 2000 to 2012.

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