Definition: a species that is the causal agent of visceral leishmaniasis in Mediterranean and adjacent countries, the south central section of western Asia, eastern India, northern China, Kenya, Ethiopia, and the Sudan; also found in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Venezuela; in the Old World, it is transmitted by various species of Phlebotomus; New World vectors are species of Lutzomyia; dogs and other carnivores are known as reservoir hosts in some areas. The intracellular amastigote form multiplies in macrophages and produces a reticuloendothelial hyperplasia grossly affecting the spleen and liver, with other lymphoid tissues being involved as well, resulting in severe hepatosplenomegaly, which usually is fatal if untreated.
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