Visceral Leishmaniasis in Angola Due to Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum

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  • Laboratorio Nacional de Referencia de Leishmaniasis, Servicio de Parasitologia, Centro Nacional de Microbiologia, and Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Clinicas y Medicina Preventiva, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
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A 26-year-old man from Angola with no history of travel outside the country presented with typical symptoms of visceral leishmaniasis. The parasite was isolated and biochemically characterized using both kinetoplast DNA and nuclear DNA probes and showed a strong homology with Leishmania (Leishmania) donovani sensu lato (s.l.). When the nuclear DNA of the isolate was hybridized with a specific Leishmania (L.) infantum probe, the pattern obtained showed a clear signal with this species. To establish its identity more specifically, this isolate was typed using a 15-system isoenzyme panel and thick-starch gel electrophoresis, and was identified as L. (L.) infantum zymodeme 1 (MAD-1), the most widespread zymodeme in Mediterranean countries. One case of visceral leishmaniasis has been reported in Angola, but this case is the first report of L. (L.) infantum in Africa south of the equator.