• leishmaniasis;
  • permethrin;
  • prevention


Background: One approach for prevention of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is the creation of a barrier between the insect vector (phlebotoms) and the host. Many but not all researchers claim that permethrin-impregnated uniforms are effective for prevention of CL. We determined the efficacy of permethrin-impregnated uniforms for prevention of CL in Iranian soldiers.

Methods: A total of 324 soldiers were randomized to two equal groups, of which 272 soldiers completed the study. In group A, 134 soldiers were issued permethrin-impregnated uniforms. In group B, 138 soldiers were issued uniforms washed in water. The soldiers wore uniforms day and night for 3 months, and were observed for an additional period of 6 months. All the soldiers remained in the leishmania-endemic area of Isfahan during the 3 months.

Results: Nine (6·5%) of 138 soldiers wearing control uniforms and six (4·4%) of 134 soldiers wearing permathrin-impregnated uniforms acquired CL. The difference between two groups was not statistically significant (P < 0·05).

Conclusion: Permethrin-impregnated uniforms are not effective for the prevention of CL.