American tegumentary leishmaniasis : direct species identification of **Leishmania** in non-invasive clinical samples
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
, p. 368-371
Species identification is highly relevant for improved prognosis and adequate treatment of American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL). PCR-based methods are available for this purpose but should be simplified to improve accessibility. As a first step in this process, this paper describes a simplified protocol for collection of clinical samples. Using samples from 44 Bolivian patients with confirmed ATL, we demonstrated that hsp70 PCRRFLP on skin scrapings collected with a tooth pick allowed identification of the parasite species with a sensitivity of 95% and specificity of 100%. Our method should greatly facilitate individual patient management and epidemiological surveillance of ATL.