Identification of Leishmania Isolates from a Lebanese Population

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  • Department of Human Morphology, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, American University of Beirut, Departmento de Microbiologia, Parasitologia Centro Investigacion de Enfermedadis Parasitologicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Panama, Department of Biology, Youngstown State University, New York, New York, Panama

We report the results of enzymatic patterns of isolates of Leishmania cultured from patients referred to Department of Dermatology of the American University of Beirut Medical Center in Lebanon. The results reveal that these Lebanese isolates are all very similar despite variable clinical presentations of the patients and differences in geographic origin. Leishmania donovani sensu lato is the dominant species present in the skin lesions observed; thus, clinical manifestations and/or geographic distribution cannot be used as reliable criteria for identifying Leishmania parasites from this geographic area. Enzyme data should be combined with these parameters before definitive identification can be made.