Volume 95, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



This study primarily aimed to identify the causative species of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan and to distinguish any species-specific variation in clinical manifestation of CL. Diagnostic performance of different techniques for identifying CL was assessed. Isolates of spp. were detected by in vitro culture, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on DNA extracted from dried filter papers and microscopic examination of direct lesion smears from patients visiting three major primary care hospitals in Peshawar. A total of 125 CL patients were evaluated. Many acquired the disease from Peshawar and the neighboring tribal area of Khyber Agency. Military personnel acquired CL while deployed in north and south Waziristan. was identified as the predominant infecting organism in this study (89.2%) followed by (6.8%) and, unexpectedly, (4.1%). These were the first reported cases of CL caused by in Pakistan. PCR diagnosis targeting kinetoplast DNA was the most sensitive diagnostic method, identifying 86.5% of all samples found positive by any other method. Other methods were as follows: ribosomal DNA PCR (78.4%), internal transcribed spacer 2 region PCR (70.3%), culture (67.1%), and microscopy (60.5%). Clinical examination reported 14 atypical forms of CL. Atypical lesions were not significantly associated with the infecting species, nor with “dry” or “wet” appearance of lesions. Findings from this study provide a platform for species typing of CL patients in Pakistan, utilizing a combination of in vitro culture and molecular diagnostics. Moreover, the clinical diversity described herein can benefit clinicians in devising differential diagnosis of the disease.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 30 Apr 2016
  • Accepted : 22 Jul 2016

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