An HIV positive patient presenting a clinical picture of visceral leishmaniasis co-infection was submitted to a bone marrow aspiration after admission to hospital. Amastigotes forms were seen in the bone marrow aspirate and the parasite grew in culture as promastigotes. Molecular analyses showed that the flagellates isolated did not belong to the genera Leishmania, Trypanosoma or Sauroleishmania. It was not possible to establish infection in laboratory animals. In vitro culture of mouse peritoneal macrophages revealed the invasion of the host cells by the flagellates and their killing 48 hr after infection. Opportunistic infection with an insect trypanosomatid was suspected. Further hybridization analyses against a panel of different monoxenous and heteroxenous trypanosomatids showed kDNA cross-homology with Leptomonas pulexsimulantis a trypanosomatid found in the dog's flea.