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Free Content Leishmaniasis in Turkey: molecular characterization of Leishmania from human and canine clinical samples

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Human leishmaniasis, both visceral and cutaneous, and canine leishmaniasis have been reported in Turkey for centuries. However, the advent of new diagnostic tools during the last 30 years has led to the recognition that leishmaniasis is an important public health problem throughout the country. In most disease foci both canine and human leishmaniases exist together and identification of parasite species causing these diseases is a pre‐requisite for understanding disease epidemiology. A total of 109 samples obtained from human and canine leishmaniasis cases were examined using internal transcribed spacer 1 PCR followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Our results indicate that two species, Leishmania tropica and Leishmania infantum, are primarily responsible for cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis, respectively, in Turkey. However, a new focus of human cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by L. infantum in Hatay region is described. This finding further stresses the importance of Leishmania species molecular characterization in prescribing appropriate therapy and understanding the disease’s transmission in different endemic foci.

Keywords: Leishmania Tropica; Leishmania infantum; Leishmania major; Leishmania tropica; canine leishmaniasis; cutaneous leishmaniasis; leishmaniasis canina; leishmaniasis cutánea; leishmaniasis visceral; leishmaniose canine; leishmaniose cutanée; leishmaniose viscérale; visceral leishmaniasis

Language: English

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1:  Department of Parasitology, Ege University Medical School, Bornova, Izmir, Turkey 2:  Department of Parasitology, Adnan Menderes University Medical School, Aydın, Turkey 3:  Department of Parasitology, Mustafa Kemal University Medical School, Antakya, Hatay, Turkey 4:  Kuvin Centre for the Study of Tropical and Infectious Diseases, IMRIC, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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