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Leishmaniasis, cutaneous

Diagnostic methods

Parasitological diagnosis
Direct microscopy of skin biopsies (stained sections or smears) detecting amastigotes has a low sensitivity (50–70%). Somewhat better results – but with a delay – are obtained after cultivation. However, these traditional methods have now been replaced by molecular diagnostic tests.

Molecular diagnosis

Early DNA hybridization methods with specific probes have now been replaced by various PCR methods which are reaching “gold standard” status. In contrast to microscopy, molecular methods can distinguish species and subspecies of Leishmania by RFLP analysis of the amplicon.

Antigen detection
No tests developed

Antibody detection

No circulating antibodies can be detected in most cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis


Diagnostic strategies

The diagnosis relies mainly on clinical findings. Today an optimal diagnostic strategy uses molecular diagnostic methods.

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