Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) and mucosal/mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (ML) are infectious diseases that affect the skin and mucous membranes.
They are caused by protozoa of the genus Leishmania, and are transmitted to animals and humans by vectors of the Psychodidae family. Their distribution is worldwide and they are endemic in 89 countries. In 2021, 51 countries reported nearly 222 000 new autochthonous cases to the World Health Organization.
Among the nine countries in the world with the highest number of cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis, three are in the Americas: Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. In the Region of the Americas, an annual average of 52 645 cases of cutaneous and mucosal/mucocutaneous leishmaniasis have been recorded in the last 20 years, with a gradual downward trend in cases since 2005. In 2021, 37 786 cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis were reported, 22.5% of them in border areas.
Cutaneous leishmaniasis has been recorded in 21 of the Region's countries, and is endemic in 19 (Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, French Guiana, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela). It should be noted that French Guiana reports its data directly to France.