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
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.