Which lab findings are diagnostic for leishmaniasis?

Updated: Feb 18, 2020
  • Author: Craig G Stark, MD, FACP, FFTM, RCPS(Glasg), FISTM; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Laboratory diagnosis of leishmaniasis can include the following:

  • Isolation, visualization, and culturing of the parasite from infected tissue

  • Serologic detection of antibodies to recombinant K39 antigen

  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for sensitive, rapid diagnosis of Leishmania species

Other tests that may be considered include the following:

  • CBC count, coagulation studies, liver function tests, peripheral blood smear

  • Measurements of lipase, amylase, gamma globulin, and albumin

  • Leishmanin (Montenegro) skin testing (LST) (not FDA approved in the United States)

See Workup for more detail.

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