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      PCR diagnosis and characterization of Leishmania in local and imported clinical samples.

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          Abstract

          Leishmaniasis diagnosis in regions where multiple species exist should identify each species directly in the clinical sample without parasite culturing. The sensitivity of two PCR approaches which amplify part of the ssu rRNA gene and the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS), respectively, was determined using human and dog blood seeded with Leishmania promastigotes. ssu-rDNA-PCR was more sensitive than ITS1-PCR, however species identification was not possible by the former approach. When a nested ITS1-PCR was used its sensitivity equaled the ssu-rDNA-PCR. Digestion of ITS1 amplicon with the restriction enzyme HaeIII distinguished all medically relevant Leishmania species. ITS1-PCR was used to diagnose 162 local and imported suspected cases of leishmaniasis in Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Germany. 113 cases (69.7%) were positive by PCR and species identification was possible in 110 samples. Leishmania DNA was also amplified and identified at the species level from archived non-stained and Giemsa stained microscope slides.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Sequence analysis of small subunit ribosomal RNA genes and its use for detection and identification of Leishmania parasites.

          The sequence of the most variable part of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene, comprising 800 bases, was analysed for 9 Leishmania taxa and compared with those of Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi and Crithidia fasciculata. Considerable differences were observed between the sequence of the Leishmania taxa on the one hand and those of Crithidia and Trypanosoma on the other. Amongst the Leishmania taxa only a few point mutations were found, all located within 2 sequence blocks in the central part of the SSU rRNA gene, which are unique for Kinetoplastida. These unique sequences were used for the development of kinetoplastid-specific probes and a Leishmania-specific PCR assay of high sensitivity (less than 10 parasites could be detected). Based on the observed point-mutations an identification of the Leishmania parasites, according to complex, could be achieved by direct sequencing, restriction fragment analysis or single-stranded conformation polymorphism of the PCR-generated fragments.
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            Amplification of kinetoplast DNA as a tool in the detection and diagnosis of Leishmania.

            This paper demonstrates how the polymerase chain reaction can be used to increase the sensitivity of detection of Leishmania parasites by DNA hybridization methods through the amplification of the minicircle target sequence. The oligonucleotide primers used are able to direct the amplification of all Leishmania strains tested. In addition, the PCR products from L. mexicana and L. braziliensis strains can be distinguished by hybridization with kDNA probes. The method is sensitive enough to detect the kDNA from a single organism and this sensitivity allows the use of nonradioactive hybridization methods. This method can be used to detect Leishmania from human biopsy material.
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              The increase in risk factors for leishmaniasis worldwide

               P Desjeux (2001)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Diagn. Microbiol. Infect. Dis.
                Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease
                0732-8893
                0732-8893
                Sep 2003
                : 47
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Institute of Microbiology and Hygiene, Humboldt University, Charité, Berlin, Germany. gabriele.schoenian@charite.de
                Article
                S0732889303000932
                12967749

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