Cutaneous and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis resembling borderline-tuberculoid leprosy: a new clinical presentation?
Both cutaneous and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis are endemic in Northern Ethiopia. The different clinical presentations depend on the responsible organism and the host's immune response. Localized cutaneous leishmaniasis is the type most frequently seen. Diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis is relatively rare and usually associated with mucous membrane involvement. Diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis presents with multiple lesions, can be difficult to diagnose and responds less favourably to treatment. We report here 2 patients with unusual presentations of diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis presenting with large hypopigmented skin lesions mimicking borderline-tuberculoid leprosy. To our knowledge this presentation has not been described before and may present difficulties in making a definite diagnosis in regions where both leprosy and cutaneous leishmaniasis are endemic. Lepromatous leprosy and diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis are regularly confused, particularly when no skin smears for acid-fast bacillus or Leishman-Donovan bodies are performed.