Background: Monoclonal antibodies have been employed extensively for the identification of Leishmania species, development of diagnostic tests and in the characterization of defined leishmanial antigens.
Objectives: Identification and characterization of Leishmania spp. directly from cutaneous lesions of infected individuals.
Methods: An immunoperoxidase test (Avidin-Biotin technique) using monoclonal antibodies was used for this purpose. One hundred and fifty individuals referring to Dermatology Clinic or Parasitology and Mycology Department of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences were chosen of whom a total of 28 individuals whose smears showed a large number of amastigotes after staining with Giemsa were included in this study. Five monoclonal antibodies designated: D2 (against L. donovani), A11 and T10 (against L. tropica), T1 (against L. major) and T7 (against L. tropica and L. major) were used. Amastigotes were identified by Labeled Avidin Biotin (LAB) method.
Results: LAB method for identification of amastigotes in impression smears of patient lesions showed that 20 out of 28 cases (71%) were positive. Among these 12 (60%) and 7(35%) were identified as L. tropica and L. major respectively.
Conclusion: The results showed that immunoperoxidase is suitable for in situ identification and characterization of Leishmania spp. at the species level.