Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a severe form of leishmaniasis - a disease caused by protozoan parasites and
transmitted by the bite of certain species of sand fly. In VL, parasites migrate to the vital organs and bone marrow, destroying
white and red blood cells. VL has been called the parasitic version of HIV/AIDs (Human immunodeficiency
virus infection / acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), as it attacks the immune system. The most common form of the
disease is cutaneous leishmaniasis, which causes skin lesions and often leaves the infected individual permanently disfigured.
Even though the disease is treatable, current treatments are difficult to administer, too expensive, or toxic for extensive
use in developing nations. Furthermore, resistance to treatment is an increasing problem, particularly in India. 90% of
people with VL die if the infection is left untreated, and death can come within 2 years, significantly faster than AIDS.
The search for new drugs continues, with new chemical and natural compounds. Many potential drug targets have been
identified in biochemical and molecular studies, and some have been validated. Attempts to exploit these targets are in
progress. This article reviews the epidemiology, clinical features, control Strategies, diagnosis and current treatment about
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, Jharkand-835215, India.