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A case of mucocutaneous leishmaniasis from Interior Sindh.

Byline: Tahir Shehzad and Asim Abbas

Abstract A case of mucocutaneous leishmaniasis of a 10 year-old-boy from Chachro district of interior Sind is presented here who presented with a nonhealing mucocutaneous ulcer of 3 years duration.

Key words

Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, New World, Old World


Leishmaniases are a group of diseases caused by several species of the genus Leishmania. Each species tends to occupy a particular zoogeographical zone and disease is endemic in 88 countries. The species are morphologically identical, and are distinguished by isoenzyme pattern and DNA analysis. Clinical patterns are poor indicators of species, although certain disease characteristics may be commonly associated with a particular species.1 Cutaneous leishmaniasis in Old World is due to L. major, L. tropica, L. aethiopica and L. donovani infantum. In New World it is due to L. chagasi, L. mexicana mexicana, L. brasiliensis brasiliensis, L. peruviana etc.2

Cutaneous leishmaniasis is endemic in Pakistan particularly in Baluchistan, NWFP, Azad Kashmir and a few districts of Interior Sind3.

We report a case of 10-year-old boy who presented with mucocutaneous leishmaniasis.

Case report

A 10-year-old boy presented in ENT department of CMH, Hyderabad with a nonhealing lesion over the nose of 3 years duration. It started as a small painless erosion which gradually increased in size despite treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics. There was no history of similar condition in the area. Examination revealed an ill-defined ulcer with raised edge over the nose extending up to upper lip, eroding the nasal mucosa with destruction of nasal septum (Figures 1 and 2)

Biopsy revealed fragments of fibrocollagenous tissue with areas of caseation necrosis, and epithelioid granulomas with Langhan type multinucleated giant cells. A few Leishman-Donovan (LD) bodies were also seen. Species identification with isoenzyme pattern and DNA analysis was not done.


Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis due to L. brasiliensis in South America develops usually within 2 years of the appearance of skin lesion.4 The nasal mucosa is almost always affected. The usual lesion is a nodule on the inferior turbinate or septum, which causes stuffiness and obstruction. The destructive pathology perforates the septum and over years may destroy the nose, palate and lips, which may become gross and protuberant, or scarred and constricted, causing difficulties in speech and eating. Death may supervene from secondary 180-181. infection, starvation or laryngeal obstruction. Spontaneous healing is virtually unknown.

Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis is considered to be a disease of the New World but it has rarely been reported from our part of the world as well. A 2-year-old child reported from an endemic area of cutaneous leishmaniasis (Baluchistan) in 2004, with clinically suggestive lesions of leishmaniasis over cutaneous as well as mucosal surfaces of the lip and nose. Diagnosis was confirmed on slit skin smear preparation and he was treated with intramuscular injection of meglumine antimonite5. All these cases could be sandfly bites on the mucosal border of the nose, a primary MCL not South American MCL.6


1. Brycerson ADM. Clinical variations associated with various taxa of Leishmania. In: Coll Int CNRS/INSERN 1984 Montpelier: IMEE; 1986. P. 221-8.

2. Lainson R. The American leishmaniasis. Some observations on their ecology and epidemiology. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 1983; 77: 569-96.

3. Bhutto AM, Soomro FR, Katakura K. Leishmaniasis in Sindh, Pakistan: outbreak and review of the literature. J Pak Assoc Dermatol 2008; 18: 212-9.

4. Marsden PD. Mucosal leishmaniasis. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 1986; 80: 859-76.

5. Bari AU, Manzoor A. Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis: does it really exist in Pakistan? J Pak Assoc Dermatol 2005; 15: 199-202.

6. Brycerson ADM. Diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis in Ethiopia. The clinical and histological features of the disease. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 1969; 63: 708-37.
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Article Details
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Publication:Journal of Pakistan Association of Dermatologists
Article Type:Case study
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Sep 30, 2010
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