The random amplified polymorphic DNA technique may be used to explore parasite DNA polymorphisms. We assessed its applicability to identification of Old World Leishmania species. A set of 6 random decamer primers (Al, A4, A5, A7, A10, and A15) was applied to a panel of DNA from 57 representatives of different Old World Leishmania species. The amplification profiles allowed discrimination among species belonging to different taxonomic complexes. Two criteria were used to analyze the profiles: the presence of consistent amplicons at the same electrophoretic position for isolates of the same species, and the presence of distinct amplicons for isolates of different species. Three primers--Al, A7 and A10--rendered such products.