Infectious skin disease found in Texas

September 16, 2007

Texas doctors have identified nine cases of the skin disease leishmaniasis in patients who have not traveled to endemic areas.

The infectious disease, sometimes called the Baghdad boil, is common in South America, Mexico and the Middle East, but the North Texas patients identified by doctors at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center had not traveled to any of those areas.

The infection causes large sores that look like boils and usually last six to 12 months. The disease is caused by a single-celled parasite called Leishmania, and special cultures must be done to confirm the diagnosis of leishmaniasis, the hospital said Friday in a release.

Dr. Kent Aftergut said all of the leishmaniasis cases in North Texas appear to be Leishmania mexicana, which is less dangerous than other forms of the parasite.

Doctors suspect human infection begins when a sand fly bites a rodent called the burrowing wood rat, which carries the parasite. When the sand fly later bites a person, the sores may develop.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Protecting US troops against sand flies

Related Stories

Protecting US troops against sand flies

November 19, 2012

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are helping deployed American troops protect themselves against sand flies, which are major pests in Afghanistan, Africa and the Middle East.

Study could lead to new drugs to treat sleeping sickness

February 24, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Knowing the structure of an enzyme essential to the protozoan parasite that causes African sleeping sickness may lead to new drugs to combat the often-fatal disease and several other related disorders that ...

Dermatologists identify North Texas leishmaniasis outbreak

September 14, 2007

A team of dermatologists and dermatopathologists at UT Southwestern Medical Center has identified nine North Texas cases of an infectious skin disease common in South America, Mexico and in the Middle East, where it is sometimes ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.