Volume 81, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


American tegumentary leishmaniasis is an increasing public health problem in Panama. This study describes the clinical characteristics and the molecular epidemiology of leishmaniasis in Panama over a 5-year period (2004–2008). Additionally, we applied a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP)–based assay to identify species in clinical isolates, skin scrapings, and sandflies specimens. Whereas 60.3% of cases were detected with conventional parasitologic techniques (smear or culture), the PCR detected 72% positive patients. Our clinical-epidemiologic data corroborate the high incidence of () and provide evidence of peridomestic and/or domestic transmission. Mucosal involvement was observed in 4.2% of the patients. The overall natural infection rate with in 103 pools of sandflies was 0.46%. and were the prevalent species incriminated as vectors at the capture sites in central Panama. This study contributes to a better knowledge of the current epidemiology of tegumentary leishmaniasis in Panama.


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  • Received : 27 May 2008
  • Accepted : 06 Jul 2009

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