Cutaneous Leishmaniasis during Pregnancy, Preterm Birth, and Neonatal Death: A Case Report
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is an emergent public health concern, particularly in tropical and subtropical regions. Reports of pregnancy complications are scarce; however, as the endemic range of CL expands in Iran, there is concern of possible detrimental effects on fetal development amongst infected mothers through placental transmission of the parasite or enhanced maternal immune responses. We herein describe the first known case of persistent anthroponotic CL, plausibly responsible for pregnancy complications, preterm birth, and neonatal death in a healthy Iranian primigravida woman. Diagnosis was based on physical examinations of the lesions on the back of both calves of the patient and laboratory analyses including direct smear, culture, and PCR. During active CL infection, the patient gave birth to a premature female neonate who passed three days post-delivery due to immature lung development and subsequent respiratory distress syndrome. This report highlights the challenges associated with CL infection during pregnancy, exacerbation of lesions, and subsequent complications.
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