Leishmania direct examination/PCR

Which test do we use?

Direct examination after Giemsa staining.
PCR for the detection of Leishmania species, if sufficiently strong positive followed by typing (species identification)


(muco)cutaneous leishmaniasis: skin biopsy (Minimum 4 mm x 4 mm)
visceral leishmaniasis: bone marrow (highest sensitivity, minimum 300μl)

Sampling instructions

Bone marrow must be drawn in an EDTA tube. Heparin can inhibit PCR reaction. Biopsies should be collected aseptically and should be placed immediately in sterile physiological water.

Storage conditions

The sample may be sent at room temperature, but the transportation should be kept as short as possible (avoid transport over weekends or holidays). A biopsy has to be kept from drying out (send in sterile physiological water).

Important advice

The nature of the sample, the clinical manifestation (visceral, (muco)cutaneous leishmaniasis) and the country of exposure should be mentioned on the request form. Typing is not done without information about the country of exposure.


1x / week

Reference values


Delivery time of the result

On average:

Direct examination: 2 days

PCR: 5 days

Species typing: 21 days


Direct examination / PCR: yes

Typing: no
ISO 15189 – Belac 147-MED


126836 / 126840
PCR / typing: /


Direct examination: 51709-4

Laatste wijziging op: 13/07/2023