Davood Mehrabani, Mohammad Hossein Motazedian, Qasem Asgari, Gholam Reza Hatam, Seyed Mohammad Owji, Ahmad Oryan.
Leishmania major in Tatera indica in Estahban, southern Iran: microscopy, culture, isoenzyme and PCR.
Pak J Med Sci Jan ;27(4):734-8.

Objectives: This study identifies the infected rodent hosts to Leishmania major in Estahban town, southern Iran during 2004-2005. Methodology: The rodents were caught alive from April 2004 to April 2005 in Estahban town, south of Iran and examined for any skin lesion. An impression was provided from the tissues of feet, tail, ears and any patent lesion, stained with Giemsa and studied microscopically for the presence of amastigotes. All samplings were cultured at 25ÂșC in rabbit blood agar and considered negative if no promastigotes were visible during a two months period. The parasites from any positive culture were cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen pending their identification in PCR and isoenzyme electrophoresis. The femoral bones were histologically and ultrastrucrurally studied. Results: Among 13 captured rodents, 8 were Tatera indica (5 male and 3 female Indian gerbils) and 5 were Rattus rattus (3 males and 2 females). Just one female T. indica was smear-positive for amastigotes in Mohmmad Abad village. This rodent was also found culture positive for leishmanial infection which was confirmed by PCR and enzyme electrophoresis. At histological and ultrastructural levels, many clusters of amastigotes were noticed in the foamy macrophages of the femoral bone bone marrow. Conclusion: T. indica was found for the first time in the area and can be one of the rodents to be a potential reservoir host of L. major. It was also shown that femoral bone marrow was the tissue of choice to confirm the presence of macrophages containing the amastigote form of the parasite.

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