Volume 81, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


It is currently unknown if the use of a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) adds value to the diagnosis and follow-up prognosis of patients affected by leishmaniasis. We performed a study using a real-time PCR directed against the α-polymerase gene and a semiquantitative PCR that target the SSU ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene as control for the diagnosis and quantification of parasites in patients with visceral (VL) and cutaneous (CL) leishmaniasis. Our single copy real-time PCR missed one diagnosis of VL compared with the conventional PCR, whereas both PCR methods were able to detect parasites in CL. Under anti-leishmania treatment the kinetics of parasitemia were comparable with the two methods. The real-time PCR directed against α-polymerase of despite being able to make a more accurate quantification of parasites does not add to the decision-making management compared with a semiquantitative PCR, and it is comparatively expensive.


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  • Received : 04 Dec 2008
  • Accepted : 25 Mar 2009

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