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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6871739, 7 pages
Research Article

Molecular Diagnosis and Identification of Leishmania Species in Jordan from Saved Dry Samples

1Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Hashemite University, Zarqa 13133, Jordan
2Parasitic and Zoonotic Diseases Department, Communicable Disease Directorate, Ministry of Health, Amman 11855, Jordan
3Princess Iman Center for Research and Laboratory Sciences, King Hussein Medical Center, Jordanian Royal Medical Services, Amman 11121, Jordan
4Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
5Cell & Tissue Therapies Western Australia, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, WA 6000, Australia

Received 11 January 2016; Revised 11 March 2016; Accepted 13 April 2016

Academic Editor: Fernando A. Genta

Copyright © 2016 Nawal Hijjawi 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.


Diagnosis of the endemic cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Jordan relies on patient clinical presentation and microscopic identification. Studies toward improved identification of the causative Leishmania species, especially in regions where multiple species exist, and the introduction of these techniques into medical diagnosis is paramount. This study looked at the current epidemiology of CL in Jordan. Clinically diagnosed 41 patients with CL were tested for the presence of Leishmania parasite using both Giemsa staining from skin scraps on glass slides and ITS1-PCR from samples blotted onto storage cards (NucleoCards®). Microscopically, 28 out of the 41 (68.3%) collected samples were positive for amastigotes, whereas the molecular ITS1-PCR amplification successfully identified 30 of the 41 samples (73.2%). Furthermore, PCR-RFLP analysis allowed species identification which is impossible microscopically. Of the 30 PCR positive samples, 28 were Leishmania major positive and the other two samples were Leishmania tropica. This indicates that L. major is the most prevalent species in Jordan and the two L. tropica cases originated from Syria indicating possible future L. tropica outbreaks. Diagnosis of CL based on clinical presentation only may falsely increase its prevalence. Although PCR is more sensitive, it is still not available in our medical laboratories in Jordan.