In Tunisia, both cutaneous (CL) and visceral leishmaniases (VL) are historical diseases that have been described since the nineteenth century. Cutaneous form is more prevalent than the visceral one. It is caused by three taxa (Leishmania major, Leishmania infantum, and Leishmania killicki synonymous Leishmania tropica) and six zymodemes (MON-1, MON-8, MON-24, MON-25, MON-80, and MON-317). Among these dermotropic zymodemes, sand flies vectors and reservoir hosts were identified for only three ones. Transmission cycles of L. infantum MON-24 and MON-80 and L. killicki MON-317 are still unknown. Zoonotic CL is largely distributed and covers mainly the sub-arid and arid bioclimatic stages. Nevertheless, it has recently spread to the humid and sub-humid stages in northern Tunisia. Sporadic and chronic CL are less prevalent with limited geographical distribution. Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is mainly infantile that affects children of <13 years. It is caused by the single taxon L. infantum. Transmission cycle of this parasite is zoonotic but not well elucidated. Three zymodemes are responsible for the genesis of VL (MON-1, MON-24 and MON-80). Only the transmission cycle of L. infantum MON-1 is identified. Geographically, VL is mainly distributed in the humid, sub-humid, and semi-arid bioclimatic stages of the country. Despite the large progress of knowledge in the ecoepidemiology of leishmaniases in Tunisia, many parameters of the transmission cycles of these taxa are still unknown and need further investigations to identify them.
Part of the book: The Epidemiology and Ecology of Leishmaniasis