Accurate and rapid species typing from cutaneous and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis lesions of the New World

J. Fraga, N. Veland, A.M. Montalvo, N. Praet, A.K. Boggild, B.M. Valencia, J. Arevalo, A. Llanos-Cuentas, J.C. Dujardin, G. Van der Auwera

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


The heat-shock protein 70 gene (hsp70) has been exploited for Leishmania species identification in the Old and New World, using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Three new Leishmania-specific hsp70 PCRs were recently described, and we applied 2 of these on 89 clinical samples from a total of 73 Peruvian patients with either cutaneous or mucocutaneous leishmaniasis. The new PCRs on average showed a 2- to 3-fold improved sensitivity in the tested sample types (lesion biopsies, aspirates, and scrapings), for both genus detection and species typing, and were most successful in biopsies. Leishmania braziliensis, L. peruviana, and L. guyanensis were encountered. About one third of the L. braziliensis parasites contained 2 hsp70 alleles. This study is a paradigm for the implementation of a globally applicable upgraded tool for the identification of Leishmania directly on human specimens from cutaneous and mucocutaneous lesions in the New World.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDiagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)142-150
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Protozoal diseases
  • Cutaneous
  • Mucocutaneous
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Leishmania braziliensis
  • Leishmania peruviana
  • Leishmania guyanensis
  • Vectors
  • Sandflies
  • Phlebotomus argentipes
  • Identification
  • Heat-shock proteins
  • Sensitivity
  • Detection
  • Species
  • hsp70
  • Alleles
  • Laboratory techniques and procedures
  • Peru
  • America-Latin


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