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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.89 no.3 Rio de Janeiro Jul./Sept. 1994 

Use of molecular probes and PCR for detection and typing of Leishmania - a mini-review

Win Degrave1 

Octavio Fernandes2 

David Campbell3 

Marcelo Bozza4 

Ulisses Lopes4 

Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Departamento de Bioquímica e Biologia Molecular, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Departamento de Patologia, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

University of California, School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Los Angeles, USA

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Laboratório de Parasitologia Molecular, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil


The use of molecular tools to detect and type Leishmania species in humans, reservoirs or sandflies has been pursued using different approaches. The polymerase chain reaction provided sensitivity to case this task, since the use of hybridization procedures alone employing specifics probes is hampered due to the low detection limit. In this report, we describe the different molecular targets used in our laboratory, aiming at the detection and specific typing of these protozoa. Different kits based on hybridization assays and PCR amplification using kinetoplast and nuclear targets are described and the results obtained from their use are reported.

Key words: Leishmania; polymerase chain reaction; hybridization; molecular probes; mini-exon gene; minicircle; kDNA


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