Prevalence Rate of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Bam District during 20 Years (1988-2007)

Document Type: Original Article


1 Instructor, Dermatology & Leishmaniasis Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Professor of Parasitology, Dermatology & Leishmaniasis Research Center and Afzalipour School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


Background & Aims: Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) has been endemic in Bam district for many years and
several epidemics have already occurred. Following a silent period, another outbreak of CL occurred after
the earthquake in 2003. This study was performed to find the trend of CL during 20 years (1988-2007) in
Bam district.
Methods: In a retrospective study, data of 29395 CL patients were collected from medical records of Center
for CL Control and Treatment and also from previous published studies and analyzed.
Results: Before the earthquake there were three periods of outbreak, control and silent. The highest
prevalence (8.3%, 6734 cases) was in 2000, whereas the lowest (0.2%, 215 cases) was in 2003 just prior to
the earthquake. Again, in 2006 CL prevalence increased to an epidemic level (2.6%, 2880 cases). During
these 20 years, age of patients has increased and after the earthquake males infected more than females.
Lesion sites has changed from face to hands and legs. The causative agent and the vector have been
Leishmania tropica and phlebotomus sergenti, respectively.
Conclusion: Epidemiology of CL varies with environmental changes and due to the immunity after
infection, the incidence rate becomes equivalent to the birth rate. Increase in the prevalence of CL after the earthquake is mainly due to the immigration of non–immune individuals to this area. In endemic areas with
frequent natural disasters such as earthquake, it is very essential to consider preventive programs in advance.