Leishmania mexicana Complex: Human Infections in the Republic of Panama

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  • Gorgas Memorial Laboratory, Panama

Parasites of the genus Leishmania responsible for human cutaneous leishmaniasis in the New World form 2 major taxonomic divisions: the Leishmania braziliensis and the L. mexicana complexes. We report the isolation and characterization of the L. mexicana complex among humans in the Republic of Panama. Characterization was based on parasite morphology, pathogenesis in infected golden hamsters, cellulose acetate isoenzyme electrophoretic mobilities, and membrane-specific monoclonal antibodies using the radioimmune binding assay technique.