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An Bras Dermatol. 2011 Nov-Dec;86(6):1141-4.

Combining diagnostic procedures for the management of leishmaniasis in areas with high prevalence of Leishmania guyanensis.

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Tropical Medicine Foundation of Amazonas, Manaus, Brazil.



The Amazon region corresponds to approximately 40% of the cases of leishmaniasis in Brazil. We report a prospective study with 180 patients conducted in a health care unit that diagnoses 10% of the cases of leishmaniasis in the Brazilian Amazon. The study addresses how a combination of procedures improves diagnosis in areas with high prevalence of Leishmania guyanensis.


to evaluate diagnostic methods in areas with high prevalence of Leishmania guyanensis.


All subjects were amastigote-positive by direct microscopic examination of lesion scarifications. We conducted skin biopsy and histopathology, polymerase chain reaction and parasite cultivation.


Polymerase chain reaction detected almost ninety percent of infections when two amplification protocols were used (mini-exon and HSP-70). HSP-70 specific polymerase chain reaction matched the sensitivity of parasite cultivation plus histopathology.


The best combination was polymerase chain reaction plus histopathology, which increased diagnostic sensitivity to 94%. Species discrimination by polymerase chain reaction disclosed prevalence of human infections with Leishmania guyanensis of 94% and with Leishmania braziliensis of 6% for this region.

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