Definition of leishmania in US English:



  • A single-celled parasitic protozoan which spends part of its life cycle in the gut of a sandfly and part in the blood and other tissues of a vertebrate.

    Genus Leishmania, phylum Kinetoplastida, kingdom Protista

    • ‘The leishmania parasite is spread by the bite of a sandfly not known to exist in Australia.’
    • ‘Hundreds of peacekeeping troops have succumbed to the disease, after becoming infected with single-celled parasites called leishmania.’
    • ‘The only way to contract leishmania parasites is through the bite of the tiny sand fly.’
    • ‘Parasite virulence genes identified as part of the leishmania genome project may be specifically targeted for vaccine or drug design.’
    • ‘Parts of the malaria and leishmania parasite genomes are also known.’


Modern Latin, from the name of William B. Leishman (1856–1926), British pathologist.