All about leishmaniasis - part 2: Kala azar disease manifestations
The most common form of leishmaniasis is localized cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), which usually appears as one or more painless ulcers.
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a febrile illness with weight loss, enlargement of the spleen and liver, and decreases in the production of blood cells that can lead to anemia, bleeding and infections with other microorganisms. Without treatment, this form of the disease is nearly always fatal.
Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis is a rare form of the disease that can occur months or years after the healing of a CL ulcer. This form of the disease can affect the nasal septum, palate and other parts of the nasopharynx.
Typical New World cutaneous leishmaniasis ulcer. Photo: B. Arana, MERTU, Guatemala.
Marked enlargement of the spleen typical of visceral leishmaniasis in a patient in lowland Nepal. Photo: C. Bern, CDC.