Indigenous leishmaniasis in Taiwan: report of a case


Yue-Zon Kuan, md Department of Dermatology Chang Gung Memorial Hospital 199, Tun Hwa North Road Taipei Taiwan


Taiwan is not considered an endemic area of leishmaniasis. Imported cases are encountered infrequently, and only two cases of indigenous cutaneous leishmaniasis have been reported.1 We found one new case in the past 20 years. The patient presented with erythematous plaques on the nasal bridge and right thumb. Skin biopsy specimens from both sites revealed numerous Leishman–Donovan bodies in macrophages. There was no history of travel outside the country, and the diagnosis of indigenous cutaneous leishmaniasis was made. Polymerase chain reactions (PCR) identified the species as Leishmania tropica. The route of infection in this patient is unclear. Because pentavalent antimony, the drug of choice for leishmaniasis, is not available in Taiwan, the patient was treated with levamisole and potassium iodide, with an excellent response.