the aim of work was to study the epidemiology of american tegumentary leishmaniasis in a military training unit situated in zona da mata region of pernambuco state. between 2002 and 2003 twenty-three cases were notified by clinical exam, detection and/or isolation of parasite and montenegro skin test. seven stocks of leishmania (viannia) braziliensis were obtained from patients, identified by a panel of specific monoclonal antibodies and isoenzymatic electrophoresis profiles. an epidemiologic survey on prevalence of infection was carried out by montenegro skin test in the population that underwent training activities during the same period, out of which 25.3% were identified as positive. these results in association with previous data from this area, shows the maintenance of a primary transmission cycle and the occurrence of periodical outbreaks after training activities in local areas of remnant atlantic rain forest.