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A pediatric case of disseminated American cutaneous leishmaniasis in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


American cutaneous leishmaniasis is an infectious disease caused by the protozoa of the genus Leishmania. Clinical manifestations vary according to the virulence of the parasite speciesand the host's immune response. We report a case of a 2-year-old girl vertically exposed to HIV who presented painful and itchy papules throughout her lower limbs with further dissemination of vegetative ulcers all over the body and scalp. The histopathological examination evidenced the amastigote form of Leishmania and the polymerase chain reaction was positive for Leishmania sp. in the tissue sample. The patient was treated with amphotericin B and demonstrated improvement of lesions. Despite successful treatment for American cutaneous leishmaniasis, she developed osteomyelitis related to a bacterial secondary infection over the site of a previous ulcer on the left ankle and required a 6-week course of intravenous antimicrobial treatment. Children with vertical exposure to HIV, even without seroconversion, are at greater risk of infections if compared to non-exposed children. This is perhaps the reason for such an exuberant and rare case of complicated eishmaniasis.

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