Leishmaniasis is a vector borne disease caused by different Leishmania species with different clinical manifestations. Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is endemic and widespread especially among young individuals in Iran. Currently prophylactic or therapeutic vaccines are not available, and in spite of vector control wherever possible, the disease has not been controlled. Although the majority of zoonotic CL cases heal within 6-9 months, anthroponotic cases persist much longer. Both types leave lifelong scars that are the cause of social stigma and much morbidity; particularly important for young girls with lesions on the face or exposed area of the body. The first line drugs (antimonials) are toxic and require repeated painful injections accompanied by considerable side effects. This coupled with the development of drug resistance, recently reported in Iran, indicate the urgent need for development of new therapeutics.
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