Volume 65, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


We present a new polymerase chain reaction assay based on telomeric sequences of Leishmania donovani. When this assay was used in dilutions of purified L. donovani DNA, a strong amplification signal was observed with 1 fg of DNA. In a specificity test that used purified DNA from Old World and New World Leishmania, the assay recognized all parasites isolated from patients with visceral leishmaniasis, except for 2 isolates of Leishmania colombiensis from Venezuela and 1 isolate from Brazil. All Leishmania major and Leishmania tropica isolates tested were negative, except for one isolate in each species. We also used the assay on fresh and archive bone marrow samples recovered from Giemsa-stained slides and from dried blood stains.


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