A new perspective on cutaneous leishmaniasis—Implications for global prevalence and burden of disease estimates

This article considers the current public health perspective on cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) and its implications for incidence, prevalence, and global burden of disease calculations. CL is the most common form of leishmaniasis and one of a small number of infectious diseases increasing in incidence worldwide [1] due to conflict and environmental factors in the Middle East (“Old World”) and the Americas (“New World”)—regions where it is most prevalent. Recently, the disease has reached hyperendemic levels in the conflict zones of the Syrian Arab Republic, Iraq, and Afghanistan while simultaneously affecting refugees from those regions . Nevertheless, CL is not seen as a priority for policymakers because it is not life limiting. This is evidenced by a lack of commitment in recent years to preventive campaigns and patient provision (limited diagnostic capacity, knowledge of treatment, drug availability) in a number of endemic countries.