American cutaneous leishmaniasis is characterized by a spectrum of clinical manifestations. These include localized, often self-healing single lesions, intermediate forms which frequently produce mucosal lesions and often show exaggerated delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH), and the rare diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis in which no reaction of protective cell-mediated immunity or DTH can be demonstrated. Clinical, pathological and immunological studies have begun to unravel some of the mechanisms associated with different disease manifestations, dependent on complex interactions between the host immune response, measured in terms of indices including lymphocyte subsets and lymphokines in vitro and within active lesions, and different species of Leishmania.

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