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Leishmaniasis in an era of conflict in the Middle East.


Leishmaniasis is endemic in the Middle East, and both cutaneous and visceral forms are reported from the region ranging from the Levant to Afghanistan. The potential and proven phlebotomine sand fly vectors and reservoir hosts of the Leishmaniases species in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen are described. This region has seen a movement of populations across the area, due to both military and civilian strife. Refugees, armed forces, and multi-national contractors are particularly at risk to acquire this disease. There has been an upsurge in Leishmaniasis research, especially as new foci are exposed and the need to protect the naïve populations moving into endemic areas becomes a public health priority. New sand fly vectors and animal reservoirs have been discovered while novel control methods are being evaluated. Modern molecular techniques are now being used more routinely and revealing some unusual findings. The aim of this review is to collate the most recent data on the burden of the disease, diagnostic applications, eco-epidemiology of vectors, and reservoir hosts, and how the control projects have been developing in the Middle East.

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Journal Article
Jacobson RL