Use of PCR assay to detect Leishmania-DNA in saliva from patients suffering American Cutaneous Leishmaniasis

Néstor Oswaldo Anez, Gladys Elena Crisante, Agustina Rojas


Introduction: American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) affects over one million people annually worldwide. Its spread enables Leishmania-parasites invading the skin, mucosa, and body-fluids including saliva. Detection of Leishmania-DNA in saliva, has been proposed as a non-invasive method.

Objective: To evaluate the use of multiplex conventional PCR-assay in saliva to identify Leishmania-DNA from patients infected with ACL.

Materials and Methods: Individuals with ACL were selected to evaluate a PCR-based saliva tool to identify Leishmania-DNA, 18 with active lesions and 3 with scars of previous healed ulcers, evaluated 2 years post-treatment. Saliva from 3 negative controls were included for comparison. Saliva samples (1 mL-each) were collected to be processed before, during and after treatment.

Results: Amplification of Leishmania-DNA in saliva from patients with healed and active lesions, revealed Leishmania braziliensis in 78% pre-treated and 28% during and after the treatment.

Conclusions: PCR-assay resulted useful identifying L. braziliensis in saliva from ACL-patients. 


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