Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Associated with Jungle Training

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  • Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C. 20012

In November 1977, 627 soliders belonging primarily to the First Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, stationed at Fort Bragg, were sent to the Canal Zone, Panama, for jungle warfare training. A medical surveillance program incorporating pre- and post-evaluations over a 6-month period with dermatologic examinations, questionnaires, and serologic tests was established. Ten cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis (1.6/100 men) were diagnosed by positive Leishmania culture. The demonstrated lack of sensitivity and specificity of the indirect fluorescent antibody test and the direct agglutination test render these serological methods useless as diagnostic screening methods in the early stages of this disease.

Author Notes

Chief, Preventive Medicine Activity, USA Medical Department Activity, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Chief, Leishmaniasis Section, Department of Parasitology, Division of Experimental Therapeutics, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C.

Formerly Division Surgeon, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Staff Epidemiologist, Division of Preventive Medicine, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C.

Director, Division of Communicable Diseases and Immunology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C.

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