The Rise of Flesh-eating Parasites

Cutaneous leishmaniasis ulcer and close-up view of Leishmania amastigotes infected human histiocyte cells, 3D illustration

A parasitic infection that slowly eats the flesh of its host sounds like something straight out of a horror movie; however, it is very real. As a result of climate change, the disease, Leishmaniasis, has slowly encroached its way into the United States.

Leishmaniasis comes in many forms, but Cutaneous Leishmaniasis is the most common form and people that contract the disease can range from asymptomatic to severe. The disease is spread through infected sand flies and can develop within weeks or months of the bite. The infected person will start developing crater-like wounds that may be covered by a scab or crust. The skin lesions can persist for years, depending on the severity. The disease is part of  the World Health Organization’s (WHO) neglected tropical diseases list despite infecting so many lives.

As of today, no cure is available, but according to this article a professor at Ohio State University may have a working vaccine in the near future.

Learn more about Leishmaniasis here!

Interested in learning more about health care diagnostics?

In DEPCO’s Clinical Laboratory Science CPU curriculum, students perform classroom laboratory activities and apply knowledge and skills in a health care diagnostic setting. Collecting, labeling, and processing of artificial samples of body fluids and tissues for laboratory assessment are performed by the students. All activities guide students through safe and appropriate use of equipment and supplies, as outlined by the standards of the health care profession.

Click here to learn more about Clinical Laboratory Science.

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