01 October 2014
This is the face of someone suffering from a type of leishmaniasis – a disease affecting about two million people around the world every year. It’s caused by a tiny parasite, Leishmania, transmitted by sandfly bites, and is common in Asia, Africa, Central and South America as well as parts of southern Europe. The illness can take on many forms, including affecting the nose and other breathing equipment. But although the problems on the outside are disfiguring, there are more serious issues going on inside, including breathing problems, sinus swelling, nosebleeds and painful swallowing. In the worst cases, it can block someone’s breathing altogether. CT scans of patient’s heads – used to make this face reconstruction – enable doctors to see what’s going inside the nose and sinuses, as well as outside. Thanks to this technology, they’re understanding more about the effects of leishmaniasis and how best to care for people.
Written by Kat Arney
Image by Raphael Abegão de Camargo and colleagues
University of São Paulo Medical School, Brazil
Originally published under a Creative Commons Licence (BY 4.0)
Research published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, July 2014