A disease caused by infection with a parasite that is spread through the bite of infected sand flies.


Leishmaniasis is caused by parasites grouped under the name Leishmania. The disease is spread by the bite of sand flies infected with these parasites. Many leishmaniasis infections clear up on their own. But the disease can cause damage to skin or to internal organs, such as the spleen.


Leishmaniasis may cause no symptoms. In people with symptoms, the disease causes skin sores that may break open or crust. Other symptoms may be fever, weight loss, swelling of the spleen or liver, and blood tests that are not in the normal range.


A range of medicines are used to cure leishmaniasis. Skin sores may heal on their own or be treated with medicine or a procedure. Over time, severe, untreated leishmaniasis that affects the internal organs can be fatal.