Author(s): Akhavan AA, Mirhendi H, Khamesipour A, Alimohammadian MH, Rassi Y,
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Abstract 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.
This article was published in Exp Parasitol
and referenced in Journal of Molecular Biomarkers & Diagnosis