Molecular probes and the polymerase chain reaction for detection and typing of Leishmania species in Mexico

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2002 Apr:96 Suppl 1:S101-4. doi: 10.1016/s0035-9203(02)90059-3.


Leishmaniasis in Mexico is a public health problem because all the clinical forms have been recorded in most Mexican states. We studied patients showing clinical symptoms of any form of leishmaniasis, from several endemic areas. Bone marrow samples, aspirates or skin biopsies were taken and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was extracted and amplified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with universal primers AJS1 and DeB8, specific for the Leishmania subgenus Leishmania. The PCR products were then hybridized by dot- or Southern blotting and probed with probe 9.2, specific for the L. mexicana complex. If hybridization did not occur, the DNA was amplified with primers D1 and D2, specific for members of the L. donovani complex, and PCR products were hybridized with probe B4Rsa, also specific for the L. donovani complex. DNA was also amplified with primers B1 and B2, specific for the subgenus Viannia, and the PCR products were hybridized with probe B18, specific for the L. braziliensis complex. It was found that in Tabasco and Veracruz, Mexico, localized cutaneous leishmaniasis (LCL) is caused by infection with members of the L. mexicana complex, whereas in the states of Nayarit and Campeche it was due to infection with the L. mexicana and/or L. braziliensis complexes. Visceral leishmaniasis was caused by L. (L.) chagasi, mainly in the states of Chiapas and Guerrero, and by L. (L.) mexicana in one immunocompromised patient from Tabasco.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA, Protozoan / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Leishmania / classification*
  • Leishmania / genetics
  • Leishmania braziliensis / classification
  • Leishmania donovani / classification
  • Leishmania mexicana / classification
  • Leishmaniasis / parasitology*
  • Mexico
  • Parasitology / methods
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*


  • DNA, Protozoan