Clinical pattern and treatment outcome of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in two hospitals in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia (2017-2021)

Debas Tesfa, Nigus Manaye, Henry Jc De Vries, Johan Van Griensven, Wendemagegn Enbiale

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INTRODUCTION: Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) in Ethiopia is caused by a unique species, L. aethiopica. In Ethiopia, there are limited studies that provide detailed clinical descriptions of CL, treatment options, and treatment outcomes.

METHODOLOGY: We conducted a descriptive study based on routinely collected data in medical files from two hospitals in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, from 2017 to 2021. Three months following the end of therapy, we retrieved sociodemographic and clinical data, as well as data on the treatment outcome.

RESULTS: Between March 2017 and June 2021, 94 patients were diagnosed with CL at the two hospitals. Of those, 46 (48.9%) of individuals had localized CL, 36 (38.3%) mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL), and 12 (12.8%) diffuse CL. Sixty-five (69.1%) of the participants were men. The most prevalent morphologic appearances were plaque (n = 42, 46.2%), nodule (n = 38, 41.8%), infiltrative (n = 34, 36.2%), crusted (n = 32, 34%), and ulcerated (n = 24, 25.5%). Scarred, volcanic, and patchy lesions were also documented. Systemic pentavalent antimonials were the most common treatment (n = 55, 58.5%), curing 21/38 (55%) of the patients. Pentavalent antimonials were also given intralesionally to seventeen patients (18.1%), with 15/16 (94%) of them being cured. Overall, 61% (40/66) of patients with documented treatment outcomes were cured.

CONCLUSIONS: As CL in Ethiopia has a wide array of clinical presentations, clinicians should be suspicious of patients from endemic areas who present with dermatologic manifestations. Physicians can employ local treatment as a first line before resorting to systemic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Infection in Developing Countries
Issue number8.1
Pages (from-to)26S-34S
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Ethiopia/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous/diagnosis
  • Leishmaniasis, Mucocutaneous
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome

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