Indexed on: 14 Nov '12Published on: 14 Nov '12Published in: Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease
An 86-year-old man with history of travel to Guatemala presented with a 4-month history of an enlarging ulcerative lesion on his right ear. After several weeks of empiric treatment for otitis externa, histopathology, culture, and PCR analysis of a biopsy specimen confirmed the diagnosis of localized cutaneous leishmaniasis secondary to Leishmania mexicana. Known as "Chiclero's ulcer" in southeast Mexico and Latin America, this unique presentation of cutaneous leishmaniasis is caused mainly by the L. mexicana complex. Infection results in a single ulcerative lesion, most commonly involving the ear pinna, without a tendency for cutaneous metastasis, lymphatic or mucosal involvement. The majority of cases of "Chiclero's ulcer" spontaneously re-epithelialize without treatment within 3-9 months. This patient's lesion completely resolved without therapy after 11 months. "Chiclero's ulcer" should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a patient presenting with a chronic ulcerative lesion and history of travel to an endemic area.