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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1996 Mar-Apr;90(2):133-5.

Evaluation of the polymerase chain reaction in the diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis due to Leishmania major: a comparison with direct microscopy of smears and sections from lesions.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology, National University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.


We have compared the sensitivity of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as a diagnostic tool against conventional microscopical diagnostic techniques in patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis from the Sudan. Twenty-eight patients were diagnosed according to clinical criteria followed by microscopical examination of histological sections and slit or impression smears. The PCR had a sensitivity of 86% when used alone, and 93% when combined with Southern blotting. In contrast, microscopy of histological sections had a sensitivity of 76% and slit and impression smears of only 55% and 48%, respectively. The PCR should be considered as a valuable and sensitive diagnostic tool in the diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis; it has the added advantage of identification of the species of Leishmania causing the lesion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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