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Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease caused by protozoan parasites and is transmitted by the bite of certain species of sand fly. It is found in parts of the tropics, subtropics and southern Europe. The estimated number of cases worldwide ranges from 0.9 million to 1.6 million. Approximately 30,000 deaths occur annually.

Most forms of the disease are transmissible only from non-human animals (zoonosis), but some can be spread between humans. Cutaneous leishmaniasis is the most common form of leishmaniasis. Visceral leishmaniasis is a more severe form in which the parasites migrate to the vital organs.

Some of those infected do not display any signs or symptoms. Those who do typically experience fever, weight loss, swelling of the spleen and liver and low blood counts. 

Leishmanisis research at CERID is focused on drug development. For more information on the innovative work being done by CERID Investigators and Affiliates, please click the "Our Research" tab above.

Source: World Health Organization , Centers for Disease Control