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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 275253, 7 pages
Research Article

Post-Kala-Azar Dermal Leishmaniasis: A Paradigm of Paradoxical Immune Reconstitution Syndrome in Non-HIV/AIDS Patients

1The Leishmaniasis Research Group, Sudan
2Institute of Endemic Diseases, University of Khartoum, P.O. Box 45235, 11111 Khartoum, Sudan
3The Central Laboratory, Ministry of Science & Communications, 7099 Khartoum, Sudan
4Tropical Diseases Hospital, Omdurman, Sudan

Received 22 November 2012; Accepted 21 February 2013

Academic Editor: Abul Faiz

Copyright © 2013 Eltahir Awad Gasim Khalil et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a parasitic disease characterized by immune suppression. Successful treatment is usually followed by immune reconstitution and a dermatosis called post-Kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL). Recently, PKDL was described as one of the immune reconstitution syndromes (IRISs) in HIV/VL patients on HAART. This study aimed to present PKDL as a typical example of paradoxical IRIS in non-HIV/AIDS individuals. Published and new data on the pathogenesis and healing of PKDL was reviewed and presented. The data suggested that PKDL is a typical example of paradoxical IRIS, being a new disease entity that follows VL successful treatment and immune recovery. PKDL lesions are immune inflammatory in nature with granuloma, adequate response to immunochemotherapy, and an ensuing hypersensitivity reaction, the leishmanin skin test (LST). The data also suggested that the cytokine patterns of PKDL pathogenesis and healing are probably as follows: an active disease state dominated by IL-10 followed by spontaneous/treatment-induced IL-12 priming, IL-2 stimulation, and INF-γ production. INF-γ-activated macrophages eliminate the Leishmania parasites/antigen to be followed by LST conversion and healing. In conclusion, PKDL is a typical example of paradoxical IRIS in non-HIV/AIDS individuals with anti-inflammatory cytokine patterns that are superseded by treatment-induced proinflammatory cytokines and lesions healing.