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The Potential Of Using Recombinant DNA Species-specific Probes For The Identification Of Tropical Leishmania

D. C. Barker, Lorna J. Gibson, W. P. K. Kennedy, A.A.A.A Nasser, R. H. Williams

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Human leishmaniasis is a world-wide public health problem with more than 400000 new reported cases/year (Anon, 1984) in the tropics and subtropics. Were (1985) has estimated that Leishmaniases affect about 20 million people in the Third World. In hospitals where treatment is available, initially all positive cases are treated equally; it is the prognosis and follow-up that varies according to the causative organism. A wide variety of species or subspecies of Leishmania may be present in a small verrucose lesion developing after an infected sandfly bite or appear in lesions as the disease progresses. Depending on which Leishmania is present a clinial decision must be made whether to treat with drugs of varying toxicity or not.