Volume 44, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Between 1986 and 1988, epidemiologic studies were carried out in a small rural community in an Andean region of Ecuador, where cutaneous leishmaniasis is highly endemic. A total of 25 human cases, positive for parasites by culture and/or smear, were examined. Fourteen of the cases were in infants less than one year of age, suggesting intradomiciliary transmission of the disease. Clinically, many of these cases were similar to descriptions of “uta,” a form of cutaneous leishmaniasis which occurs in Andean regions of Peru and is reportedly caused by . Of the 11 positive cultures obtained from human cases in the present study, eight were identified by molecular characterization as and three were identified as -like. Two additional isolates of were also made from an infected dog and from a sand fly, , living in the region, thus implicating the latter species as possible reservoir and vector, respectively, of in this highland community. The significance and validity of recent isolates of -like parasites from the New World are also discussed.


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