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Alberta Precision Laboratories (APL) Test Directory



Blood: for visceral Leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania donovani

Tissue: for cutaneous Leishmaniasis caused by other Leishmania species, and to confirm presence of viseral Leishmaniasis when serum antibody testing is positive

Mnemonic M LEISH
Specimen Requirements

1.    for visceral Leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania donovani

  • blood in 1 x 6 mL lavender top EDTA tube for PCR testing; or bone marrow, spleen biopsy, liver biopsy in EDTA for PCR testing

NOTE: serum testing MUST be performed first to confirm the presence of Leishmania spp. before culture and PCR

2.     for cutaneous Leishmaniasis

  • tissue biopsy in Leishmania transport medium for culture and PCR testing

Testing performed by a referral laboratory.

Specimen Handling

The Microbiologist on Call MUST be contacted at 403-770-3757 before collection.

Physicians MUST contact the Microbiologist on Call for approval 48 hours before collecting tissue biopsies so Leishmania transport medium can by provided. Only collect tissue specimens for culture Monday - Wednesday. Thursday collection is possible if transport medium is available at time of collection and specimens are received at CLS Microbiology before 15:00.

Send biopsy specimens in Leishmania transport medium to Calgary Laboratory Services immediately after collection.DO NOT collect specimens on Fridays or weekends. The Parasitology Reference Centre is not open to receive shipments on weekends.

Include a completed requisition for the National Reference Centre for Parasitology.
Keep the specimen at room temperature in an upright position.

All specimens must arrive at CLS by 15:00 to be referred by FEDEX shipment

Additional Information Additional blood parasites: refer to  Malaria, Babesia, Trypanosomes and Microfilaria.
Testing Location National Reference Centre for Parasitology
Testing Frequency




Alternate Name(s)  
Reference Interval