Comparison of conventional and polymerase chain reaction diagnostic techniques for leishmaniasis in the endemic region of Adana, Turkey

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Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) has long been reported in the Cukurova region. We have compared the sensitivity of the conventional methods of diagnosis by microscopy and cultivation of lesion aspirates against polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of parasite-specific DNA from these samples.


The samples (n = 25) were obtained from patients clinically diagnosed with CL at the regional dermatology clinic. Aliquots of the samples were stained with Giemsa for microscopy and cultured in Novy-Nicolle-McNeal (NNN) blood agar for promastigote growth. The remainder were subjected to DNA extraction for PCR amplification of the conserved region of kinetoplast minicircle DNA. PCR products of the expected size (120 bp) were observed after agarose gel electrophoresis, followed by staining with ethidium bromide.


The positive rates from 25 samples were 44%, 68%, and 100% for cultivation, microscopy, and PCR, respectively.


The PCR method used appears to be the most sensitive for the diagnosis of CL in this region.

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