Comparative Clinical Pathology

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 729–733 | Cite as

Molecular detection of Leishmania species in northeast of Iran

  • Mohammad Javad Namazi
  • Azar Balooti Dehkordi
  • Faezeh Haghighi
  • Mohammad Mohammadzadeh
  • Mehdi Zarean
  • Morteza Haghighi HasanabadEmail author
Original Article


Two known types of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) including zoonotic CL due to Leishmania major and anthroponotic CL due to Leishmania tropica are prevalent in 14 of 22 countries located in the Eastern Mediterranean region including Iran. According to existing data, CL is endemic in Sabzevar City (northeast of Iran) and, because of the climatic conditions in this semi-desert region, is suitable for living vector/reservoir hosts of infection. The aim of our study was to identify the recent status of CL causative species in rural areas of Sabzevar County. Suspected patients of CL who were referred to health centers in suburban areas of Sabzevar and confirmed via microscopic observation of amastigotes were included in the study. Molecular identification of Leishmania species was done via nested PCR assay, based on amplification of kinetoplast minicircle fragments of L. major and L. tropica. In total, 153 patients including 89 males and 64 females were enrolled in this study. A high infection rate was reported in the autumn season (with a peak in October). Our findings revealed that L. major is responsible for 100% of infections. In addition, there was no association between CL and risk factors after statistical analysis. It seems that the infection pattern of CL is changing predominantly to L. major in most regions of Iran, which may be due to environmental changes, or ecological amendment and their effects on (vector/reservoir) host distribution in rural parts. Finally, controlling programs as well as promotion in public health systems should be considered in this area.


Cutaneous leishmaniasis Leishmania major Leishmania tropica Nested PCR 



The collection of the samples was made by the personnel of the local health centers around Sabzevar County including Neghab, Jovein, and Hokmabad.

Authors’ contributions

M.J. Namazi conceived and designed the study; A. Balooti Dehkordi collaborated in the preparation of samples; F. Haghighi drafted the manuscript; M. Mohammadzadeh contributed to the design of the study and was involved in all steps of the experiment; M. Zarean critically revised the manuscript and approved the final study; M. Haghighi Hasanabad interpreted data and PCR performance. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding information

The work was supported financially (No: 90007) by the Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

This study was reviewed and approved by the Ethics Committees of Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran. Consent forms were signed by participants and a questionnaire form fulfilled by each patient in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cellular and Molecular Research CenterSabzevar University of Medical SciencesSabzevarIran
  2. 2.Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of MedicineMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  3. 3.Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Research Center, Faculty of MedicineMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  4. 4.Institute of Immunology and Infectious DiseasesIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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