Volume 93, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Dogs are the principal reservoir hosts of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (VL) but current serological methods are not sensitive enough to detect all subclinically infected animals, which is crucial to VL control programs. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods have greater sensitivity but require expensive equipment and trained personnel, impairing its implementation in endemic areas. We developed a diagnostic test that uses isothermal recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) to detect . This method was coupled with lateral flow (LF) reading with the naked eye to be adapted as a point-of-care test. The RPA-LF had an analytical sensitivity similar to real time-PCR, detecting DNA of 0.1 parasites spiked in dog blood, which was equivalent to 40 parasites/mL. There was no cross amplification with dog or human DNA or with , , or . The test also amplified strains ( = 7). In a group of clinically normal dogs ( = 30), RPA-LF detected more subclinical infections than rK39 strip test, a standard serological method (50% versus 13.3% positivity, respectively; = 0.005). Also, RPA-LF detected in noninvasive mucosal samples of dogs with a sensitivity comparable to blood samples. This novel molecular test may have a positive impact in leishmaniasis control programs.


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  • Received : 18 Feb 2015
  • Accepted : 23 Jun 2015
  • Published online : 04 Nov 2015

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