Table 11.

Characteristics of the reported cases of laboratory-acquired infection with Leishmaniaspp.a

CharacteristicNo. (%) of cases (n = 12)
L. donovani 4 (33.3)
L. (Viannia)braziliensis 3 (25.0)
L. tropica 2 (16.7)
L. (V.)guyanensis 1 (8.3)
L. mexicana 1 (8.3)
L. amazonensis 1 (8.3)
Decade of occurrence (if known) or publication
 1930s1 (8.3)
 1940s1 (8.3)
 1980s7 (58.3)
 1990s3 (25.0)
Country or region of occurrence
 United States6 (50.0)
 Latin America3 (25.0)
 Canada1 (8.3)
 Europe1 (8.3)
 Asia1 (8.3)
Route of exposure
 Parenteral7 (58.3)
 Biteb 2 (16.7)
 Nonintact skin1 (8.3)
 Mucous membrane?c 1 (8.3)
 No accident recognized1 (8.3)
Clinical manifestations
 Symptomatic cases12 (100)
 Severe cases2 (16.7)d
 Fatal cases0
  • a The median incubation period was 2 to 3 months (range, 3 weeks to 8 months) for infections due to all exposures (11 cases with available data) and 8 weeks (range, 3 weeks to 6 months) for the subset of infections due to parenteral exposures (n= 7).

  • b For at least one of the cases, contamination of the bite wound rather than the bite itself was thought to have been the route of transmission (50).

  • c The laboratorian had repeatedly contaminated his fingers and oral mucosa (apparently during mouth pipetting) with blood from infected squirrels and once had swallowed infected blood (38). For the purposes of this table, he is classified as having had a mucosal exposure.

  • d The severe cases included one with mucosal leishmaniasis and one with visceral leishmaniasis.