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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 639310, 4 pages
Research Article

Comparison between Conventional and Real-Time PCR Assays for Diagnosis of Visceral Leishmaniasis

Núcleo de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa Hospital Santa Casa de Belo Horizonte, Rua Domingos Vieira 590, 30150240 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

Received 23 July 2013; Revised 20 November 2013; Accepted 27 December 2013; Published 6 February 2014

Academic Editor: Sumeeta Khurana

Copyright © 2014 Mariana R. Pereira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a challenging issue and several studies worldwide have evaluated the different tools to reach a diagnostic solution. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has proven to be effective in detecting the genome of Leishmania species in different biological samples. In this study, we compared the conventional PCR and real-time PCR using the Sybr Green system and their application in molecular diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis in peripheral blood as a biological sample. The genus-specific conserved region of kinetoplast DNA (kDNA) was the target of amplification. We studied 30 samples from patients with suspect of visceral leishmaniasis who were treated by the Medical Clinic of Santa Casa de Belo Horizonte Hospital, Brazil. Among the samples studied, 19 had a confirmed diagnosis for VL by serology and/or by clinical findings. Among these 19 samples, 63% () presented positive results for serology and 79% () positive results in both PCR methodologies. This fact suggests that the PCR technique can assist in the diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis in patients who do not have detectable antibodies by serology but can present the genome of the parasite circulating in whole blood. Also, it was possible to observe that there was conformity between the results of the techniques of cPCR and qPCR using the Sybr Green system in 100% of samples analyzed. These data suggest that both PCR techniques were equally effective for detection of the genome of the parasite in the patient’s blood.