Liposomal amphotericin B in comparison to sodium stibogluconate for Leishmania braziliensis cutaneous leishmaniasis in travelers

Michal Solomon, Felix Pavlotzky, Aviv Barzilai, Eli Schwartz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: New World cutaneous leishmaniasis is mostly acquired in the Amazon Basin of Bolivia where L viannia (V) braziliensis is endemic. Treatment with systemic pentavalent antimonial compounds has been shown to be effective in achieving clinical cure in only 75% of cases. Objective: We sought to assess the efficacy and safety of liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB) treatment for primary infection of cutaneous L (V) braziliensis. Methods: A prospective observational evaluation was performed for cutaneous leishmaniasis due to L (V) braziliensis which was treated with L-AmB, 3 mg/kg, for 5 consecutive days, and a sixth dose on day 10. This therapy regimen was compared with the treatment regimen of sodium stibogluconate (SSG) 20 mg/kg for 3 weeks. Results: Our study was divided into two groups; 34 patients received L-AmB and 34 received SSG treatment. Almost all patients were infected in Bolivia. In the L-AmB group, 29 patients (85%) had complete cure compared with 70% in the SSG group (P = not significant), 4 other patients were slow healers, and only one patient needed additional treatment with SSG. No relapses were seen during a mean 29-month follow-up period. Failure rate was 3% in the L-AmB versus 29% in the SSG group (P = .006). Treatment was interrupted in 65% of patients taking SSG because of adverse events, whereas all patients receiving L-AmB completed treatment. Limitations: This was a non-blinded comparative study. Conclusions: Comparison of L-Amb to SSG treatment for L (V) braziliensis shows that the former is effective, better tolerated, and more cost effective. L-AmB should therefore be considered as the first-line treatment option for cutaneous L (V) braziliensis infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-289
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Bolivia
  • L (V) braziliensis
  • liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB)
  • sodium stibogluconate
  • travelers


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