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Leishmania Diagnostics Laboratory (LDL)
The WRAIR LDL specializes in the diagnostics of cutaneous, mucocutaneous, and visceral leishmania from around the world in both military and civilian personnel.

The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research’s (WRAIR) Leishmania Diagnostic Laboratory (LDL) is the only College of American Pathologists (CAP) certified diagnostic laboratory that specializes in the full spectrum of leishmaniasis diagnostics. This capability has been available at WRAIR since the early 1970’s and in the early 2000’s sought and gained CAP certification for their work.

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The WRAIR LDL has a broad array of assays to assist both military and civilian practitioners diagnose this disease whether its clinical form is cutaneous, mucocutaneous or visceral from both the Old and the New World. The WRAIR LDL can assist the clinician in the best ways to sample lesions and suggest the best testing to maximize diagnostic yield. We have been successful in the diagnosis of suspected leishmaniasis lesions whether from the Old World like those from Iraq (Figures 1a and 1b) or from the New World like those from Central America (Figures 2a and 2b).

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Figure 1a

Figure 1b

Figure 2a

Figure 2b

While a diagnosis of “leishmaniasis” can be made directly from a smear as seen above, the WRAIR LDL can assist you in taking that next step of speciating the organism.


LDL Assays Available
  • Direct Smear Reading
  • Histopathology
  • Leishmania Genus PCR
    • Wortmann primers and probes
  • Leishmania species PCR
    • L.major is covered by CAP
    • Investigational PCR assays for L. mexicana, L. tropica, L. infantum/donovani and the L. viannia subgenus are also available
    • Note: PCR can be run on fresh material, alcohol fixed material, and formalin fixed/embedded material
  • Culture in all standard media
    • Schneider’s, NNN, and Modified Media 1 – with and without antibiotic additives
    • Note: Culture can be done on cutaneous samples, lymph node biopsies, bone marrow cores, bone marrow aspirates, liver, and spleen
  • Isoenzyme speciation
    • Kruetzer and Dedet methods
  • rK39 serologic assay
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Contact Information
Please contact us at with any questions via email or telephone.
Telephone: 1-301-573-3763 (24 hour cell number)
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Forms & Procedures
Click on the links below to download a pdf version of the documents.
Leishmaniasis Patient Information Sheet PDF Icon
Leishmania Scraping & Biopsy Procedures PDF Icon

Specimen Shipment
Specimens can be sent via Federal-Express or DHL to the following address with prior arrangements with the lab:
COL Peter J. Weina, Director
Leishmania Diagnostics Laboratory
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
503 Robert Grant Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Last Modified Date: 09-September-2016

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