The ability to determine whether a mammalian host is harbouring leishmania amastigotes is critical for strategies to reduce the disease burden of New World Leishmaniases. This project will develop and/or evaluate methods for detecting leishmania amastigotes that are pertinent to control strategies for L. braziliensis and L.d.chagasi in Colombia. Recent advances in molecular biology present the option of applying methods such as DNA probes, monoclonal antibodies, and DNA amplification to the detection of leishmaniasis. Despite such laboratory advances, information available on the applicability of these methods in endemic areas is as yet insufficient for policy making regarding the use of these methods in control strategies. The unique features of this project are threefold. 1. Requirements for control strategies will determine which detection methods are evaluated, and the expectations for newer methods. 2. Newer methods will be contrasted against standard methods in field settings where standard detection methods have been previously carefully evaluated. 3. The information needed to determine whether the newer methods can be incorporated into control strategies (sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, pre-test and post-test likelihood, cost and time estimates) will be obtained with sufficient precision.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Specialized Center (P50)
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University of Valle
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