Intralesional Injection of 2% Zinc Sulfate Solution in the Treatment of Acute Old World Cutaneous Leishmaniasis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Clinical Trial

January 2005 | Volume 4 | Issue 1 | Original Article | 73 | Copyright © January 2005

Alireza Firooz MD, Alireza Khatami MD, Ali Khamesipour PhD, Mansour Nassiri-Kashani MD, Fereydoun Behnia MD, Mohammadali Nilforoushzadeh MD, Hamidreza Pazoki-Touroudi PhD, Yahya Dowlati MD PhD

Abstract
Several in vitro and in vivo studies have shown inhibitory effects of zinc sulfate (ZnSO4) on Leishmania parasites. The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of intralesional injections of 2% ZnSO4 solution with meglumine antimonate (Glucantime) in the treatment of acute Old World cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). Seventy-two patients with CL lesions less than 8 weeks were recruited in a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial in an area endemic for Leishmania major after giving written informed consent. They were treated with 6 weekly intralesional injections of either drug. Among 36 patients with 53 lesions treated with ZnSO4 and 36 patients with 53 lesions treated with Glucantime, 13 patients with 19 lesions and 22 patients with 31 lesions completed the trial, respectively. Inadequacy of treatment was the main reason for drop-out in 12 (33.3%) and 2 (5.5%) patients in ZnSO4 and Glucantime groups, respectively (P < .05). Complete re-epithelialization was observed in 2 (10.5%) and 19 (61.3%) lesions 1 week after the end of treatment in the ZnSO4 and Glucantime groups, respectively (P < .05). In conclusion a 6-week course of weekly intralesional injections of 2% ZnSO4 solution was less effective than Glucantime in the treatment of acute Old World CL.