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Leishmania species: detection and identification by nested PCR assay from skin samples of rodent reservoirs

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Amir Ahmad Akhavan
  • Hossein Mirhendi
  • Ali Khamesipour
  • Mohammad Hossein Alimohammadian
  • Yavar Rassi
  • Paul Bates
  • Shaden Kamhawi
  • Jesus G Valenzuela
  • Mohammad Hossein Arandian
  • Hamid Abdoli
  • Niloufar Jalali-zand
  • Reza Jafari
  • Niloufar Shareghi
  • Maryam Ghanei
  • Mohammad Reza Yaghoobi-Ershadi
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Experimental Parasitology
Issue number4
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)552-556
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Many rodent species act as reservoir hosts of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in endemic areas. In the present study a simple and reliable assay based on nested PCR was developed for the detection and identification of Leishmania parasites from rodent skin samples. We designed Leishmania-specific primers that successfully amplified ITS regions of Leishmania major, Leishmania gerbilli and Leishmania turanica using nested PCR. Out of 95 field collected Rhombomys opimus, 21 were positive by microscopic examination and 48 by nested PCR. The percentage of gerbils infected with L. major, L. gerbilli and L. turanica was 3.2%, 1.1% and 27.4%, respectively. In 15.8% of the rodents, we found mixed natural infections by L. major and L. turanica, 1.1% by L. major and L. gerbilli, and 2.1% by the three species. We concluded that this method is simple and reliable for detecting and identifying Leishmania species circulating in rodent populations.