Assessment and treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis in the emergency department

Stephen McGhee, Neil Angus, Alan Finnegan, La Toya Lewis-Pierre, Johis Ortega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cutaneous leishmaniasis is endemic in more than 70 countries worldwide. It is a non-fatal disease caused by the Leishmania parasite that is transmitted to humans via bites of infected female sandflies. Cutaneous leishmaniasis causes skin lesions on areas of exposed skin, such as the face and limbs, which often produce scarring and atrophy. If untreated, cutaneous leishmaniasis can develop into mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, which is potentially life-threatening. Furthermore, patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis commonly experience psychosocial issues such as anxiety, distress, stigma and rejection. Cutaneous leishmaniasis is spreading outside of its traditional endemic areas because of the effects of environmental changes such as urbanisation and climate change. In the UK, healthcare professionals may encounter the disease in migrants from endemic areas, members of the armed forces, tourists and expatriates. Therefore, emergency nurses need to be able to assess and support patients who present with symptoms suggestive of cutaneous leishmaniasis. This article provides an overview of the epidemiology, aetiology, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1993
JournalEmergency Nurse
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 10 2020


  • Clinical
  • Communicable diseases
  • Epidemic
  • Health promotion
  • Infection
  • Infection control
  • Infection prevention
  • Patients
  • Prevention
  • Psychological care
  • Public health
  • Skin
  • Wound care
  • Wound management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency


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