DPDx is an education resource designed for health professionals and laboratory scientists. For an overview including prevention and control visit www.cdc.gov/parasites/.
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Isolation of Organisms
The diagnosis of Leishmania spp. is made by microscopic identification of the nonmotile, intracellular form (amastigote) in stained sections from lesions, and by culture of the motile, extracellular form (promastigote) on suitable media. Slides should be fixed and stained before they are sent unless reagents are not available. Serologic tests are also available to detect for anti-leishmanial antibodies; however, these tests are often not sensitive, particularly for diagnosing cutaneous leishmaniasis, and do not provide definitive diagnosis.
For more information on Leishmania testing, contact the Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria at (404) 718-4175 or (404) 718-4110.