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An outbreak of suspected cutaneous leishmaniasis in Ghana: lessons learnt and preparation for future outbreaks

By Margaret A. Kweku, Shirley Odoom, Naiki Puplampu, Kwame Desewu, Godwin Kwakye Nuako, Ben Gyan, Greg Raczniak, Karl C. Kronmann, Kwadwo Koram, Silvia Botero, Daniel Boakye and Hannah Akuffo


Human cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) has previously been reported in West Africa, but more recently, sporadic reports of CL have increased. Leishmania major has been identified from Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, and Burkina Faso. Three zymodemes (MON-26, MON-117, and MON-74, the most frequent) have been found. The geographic range of leishmaniasis is limited by the sand fly vector, its feeding preferences, and its capacity to support internal development of specific species of Leishmania. The risk of acquiring CL has been reported to increase considerably with human activity and epidemics of CL have been associated with deforestation, road construction, wars, or other activities where humans intrude the habitat of the vector. In the Ho Municipality in the Volta Region of Ghana, a localised outbreak of skin ulcers, possibly CL, was noted in 2003 without any such documented activity. This outbreak was consistent with CL as evidenced using various methods including parasite identification, albeit, in a small number of patients with ulcers

Topics: Review Article
Publisher: CoAction Publishing
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