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Leishmania donovani, the causative agent of kala-azar, is an obligate intracellular parasite that resides in cells of the reticuloendothelial system. The mainstay of diagnosis of kala-azar is bone marrow (BM) examination. Standard texts1 2 mention the presence of the Leishmania donovani bodies (LD bodies) inside macrophages or neutrophils to emphasise their essential nature. We have, however, observed casually that extracellular LD bodies are more common, and hence picked up more quickly, than the intracellular forms. We hypothesised that LD bodies may come to lie extracellularly because cells bearing them become disrupted …
Competing interests: None.