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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/33317

Title: Molecular diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis and identification of the causative Leishmania species in Morocco by using three PCR-based assays
Authors: Mouttaki, Tarik
Morales-Yuste, Manuel
Merino-Espinosa, Gema
Chiheb, Soumiya
Fellah, Hassan
Martín-Sánchez, Joaquina
Riyad, Myriam
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Background: The diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) might be difficult, in particular in endemic areas where different species of Leishmania can cause lesions of very similar appearance and where other skin diseases with similar clinical symptoms occur. Even today, the parasitological diagnosis of CL remains the gold standard and it is based on the direct identification of amastigotes in microscopy smears and/or culture of promastigotes from infected tissues. Although these techniques are highly specific, they are not sensitive enough. The objective of this study is to contribute to improving the diagnosis of CL and the identification of Leishmania species in Morocco by comparing three PCR-based assays applied directly on dermal samples. Methods: A total of 58 patients presenting with cutaneous lesions suggestive of CL were sampled for parasitological diagnosis by direct examination (DE), culture in NNN medium, two kinetoplast DNA (kDNA) PCRs (Lmj4/Uni21 and 13A/13B primers) and one rRNA gene internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) PCR (LITSR/L5.8S primers). The techniques were statistically analyzed and compared. Results: According to our consensus positive, 44 out of 58 samples were true positives. The 13A/13B-PCR and ITS1-PCR showed the highest sensitivities (100%). Parasite microscopy and culture detected 43% and 29% of the true positives, respectively, while culture and microscopy together improved sensitivity to 52%. PCRs 13A/13B and ITS1 were associated to four and one false positives, respectively, while the other assays were 100% specific. Furthermore, the ITS1-PCR-RFLP assay clearly identified the Leishmania species for all the true positives (44/44), whereas Lmj4/Uni21-PCR identified 35/44 samples. The comparison between the Leishmania molecular characterizations and the expected species according to the national data from the Ministry of Health indicate 7 discrepant results. Conclusions: The PCR-based assays tested on our samples increased the speed and sensitivity of the diagnosis of CL compared to the conventional techniques. Furthermore, we showed that we can not base the species identification on the national data from the Ministry of Health. Finally, we suggest the use of PCR-ITS1-RFLP for diagnosis and simultaneous identification of the species in the Moroccan epidemiological context, but also in similar areas of the Mediterranean Basin.
Sponsorship: This study was supported by the University of Granada, Spain (CICODE program), the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of Casablanca (Morocco), and the PHC Volubilis program.
Publisher: Biomed Central
Keywords: Cutaneous leishmaniasis
L. tropica
L major
L. infantum
Direct examination
13A/13B primer
Lmj4/Uni21 primer
LITSR/L5.8S primer
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/33317
ISSN: 1756-3305
Rights : Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License
Citation: Mouttaki, T.; et al. Molecular diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis and identification of the causative Leishmania species in Morocco by using three PCR-based assays. Parasites and Vectors, 7: 420 (2014). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/33317]
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