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MCQs in Tropical Medicine

Rob Skelly DTM+H FRCP

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Answer 62 - Visceral leishmaniasis

Visceral leishmaniasis is typically caused by
True a. L.donovani
False b. L.tropica
True c. L.chagasi
False d. L.major
True e. L.infantum


L.donovani, L.infantum, and L.chagasi may all cause visceral leishmaniasis but there geographical distribution differs. L.donovani is found in India and sub-Saharan Africa, L.infantum in the Mediterranean and L.chagasi in South and Central America.

L.tropica usually causes cutaneous leishmaniasis but the cause of a small but well documented outbreak of "viscerotropic" leishmaniasis in veterans of Operation Dessert Storm.

L.major causes cutaneous leishmaniasis.

Intercurrent HIV infection may also lead to viscerotropic disease with an organism usually causing only cutaneous disease.

Copyright: Rob Skelly 2006