Autochthonous Dermal Leishmaniasis in Texas

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  • Center for Disease Control, Public Health Service, U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Brooke Army Medical Center, United States Army, Atlanta, Georgia 30333

Over a 2-year period two cases of dermal leishmaniasis of special interest were recognized in Texas. The first occurred in 1972 in a 74-year-old woman who had residences in Dilworth and Gonzales, Gonzales County, and the other was in a 56-year-old man from Kenedy, Karnes County, in 1974. Both cases were biopsy- and culture-positive, and the second patient exhibited anti-Leishmania antibodies by indirect immunofluorescent antibody and direct agglutination tests. Epidemiologic investigation revealed no assocation between the two cases and suggested that both patients had acquired their infections locally in southern Texas. Moreover, serologic evidence of Leishmania infection was uncovered in a neighbor of the second case and in 3 dogs living nearby. Potential sylvatic reservoirs and arthropod vectors of the disease are resident in the area. Epidemiologic data suggest that dermal leishmaniasis is endemic in south-central Texas.

Author Notes

Address reprint requests to: Peter K. Shaw, M.D., Parasitic Diseases Branch, Parasitic Diseases and Veterinary Public Health Division, Bureau of Epidemiology, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia 30333.

Captain, Army Medical Laboratory Activity, Brooke Army Medical Center.

Parasitic Immunochemistry Branch, Parasitology Division, Bureau of Laboratories, Center for Disease Control.

General Parasitology Branch, Parasitology Division, Bureau of Laboratories, Center for Disease Control.

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