Multiple sclerosis among patients with previous diagnosis of leishmaniasis

Mehrdad Farrokhi, Mosoud Etemadifar, Ali Rezaei, Ali Amani Beni


Leishmaniasis is a protozoan parasitic disease which is caused by leishmania genus and is transmitted by sand flies. Multiple sclerosis (MS), however, is a chronic inflammatory disease of central nervous system (CNS). Since co-existence of these two diseases in an individual is rare, we aimed to evaluate prevalence of leishmaniasis among MS patients. At first, total Isfahan MS (TIMS) records of 5123 MS patients who registered in Isfahan multiple sclerosis society (IMMS) from April 2003 till July 2014 were searched in order to find cases suffering from leishmaniasis. Secondly, a comparison between the prevalence of leishmaniasis among the general population and the rate of leishmaniasis in population of MS patients was done. Among 5123 MS patients, we could find two cases (both female) with leishmaniasis and the type of leishmaniasis in both of them were cutaneous and also they had developed MS after diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). Further analysis showed that CL patients have a lower risk of MS, suggesting a protective effect of CL against MS. Our data suggests that although leishmaniasis and MS may have similarities in some aspects of their pathogenesis, leishmaniasis patients have a lower risk of MS than general population.


Multiple sclerosis, leishmaniasis, cutaneous leishmaniasis

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