Epidemiological features of cutaneous leishmaniasis in diagnosed patients from an endemic area (central Morocco)


Cutaneous leishmaniasis represents the most neglected tropical disease across the world. In Morocco, this disease is endemic and constitutes a major public health problem, with a national control program been implemented. The current study aimed to determine the pattern and epidemiological features of cutaneous leishmaniasis in affected patients in an area covered by the CL control and prevention program (Central Morocco). A total of 161 patients suspected for cutaneous leishmaniasis were diagnosed according to WHO laboratory methods, and 82 cases were confirmed positive for CL. The reports were analysed by patients’ socio-geographic status, gender and age. The number and distribution of CL lesions by location, gender and age were investigated. Overall the confirmed cases, 89 % were infected by Leishmania tropica versus 21 % for Leishmania major. Females were significantly more affected than males (p < 0.01). Children (0–15 years), especially those ≤ 7 years of age, were the most affected. For the distribution of lesions, single lesion cases were largely preponderant (70.7 %) compared to multiple lesions. Face location was significantly more frequent (62.2 %) compared to limbs (26.8 %). Face lesions were found more prevalent in children than in adults while limb lesions were highly observed in adults. The pattern of the disease is affected by many factors (e.g. environment, gender, age, etc.) and has specifics to be considered in prevention and control programs in endemic areas.

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The authors are extremely grateful to the officials and staff of: the Regional Direction of Health and the Regional Laboratory of Epidemiological Diagnostic and Environmental Hygiene, Marrakech-Safi, and the Ambulatory Outreach Service (SIAAP) for their valuable collaboration on this study. Their assistance is greatly appreciated.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Correspondence to Omar Amahmid.

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Amahmid, O., El Guamri, Y., Zenjari, K. et al. Epidemiological features of cutaneous leishmaniasis in diagnosed patients from an endemic area (central Morocco). J Parasit Dis (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12639-021-01357-2

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  • Cutaneous leishmaniasis
  • Epidemiology
  • Demographic data
  • Clinical feature