Volume 73, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The sensitivity and specificity of lymph node and bone marrow smear microscopy for the diagnosis of infected dogs was evaluated in 79 dogs with leishmaniasis (Group A), 52 asymptomatically infected dogs (Group B), and 44 healthy noninfected dogs (Group C). Light microscopy examination included 10 to 1,000 oil immersion fields, and the density of amastigotes was scored by a 0 to +6 scale. Using polymerase chain reaction as the gold standard, the specificity of lymph node and bone marrow cytology was 100%, whereas sensitivity ranged from 7.8% to 92.6%, being significantly higher in Group A compared with Group B. The amastigote scores were also significantly higher in Group A compared with Group B. These results indicate that lymph node and bone marrow cytology is a highly sensitive and specific method for the diagnosis of canine patent leishmaniasis, whereas its sensitivity is relatively low in asymptomatic infections.


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  • Received : 20 Nov 2004
  • Accepted : 26 Feb 2005

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