Strains: Reference and Labelling

 An International Code for labelling Leishmania isolates was recommended at a UNDP/WHO meeting in Washington, D.C., in 1980.

The code consists of 4 elements which are as follows:

  1. The first element is a 4 letter code that refers to the animal from which the strain was isolated. In the case of mammals the code preceded by M and for an insect by I. The mammal codes and the sandfly codes can be searched below.
  2. The second element is a 2 letter code for the animal's country. The ISO codes for the countries where Leishmania occur are also searchable below.
  3. The third element is 4 digits for the year in which the isolation was made.
  4. The fourth element has no fixed size and is the original label given by the individual(s) who made the isolation.

The following is an example of the code. An isolate whose International Code is MHOM/IN/1980/DD8 signifies that it was isolated from a man (MHOM) living in India (IN) in 1980 (1980) and was originally labelled as DD8.

The problem of how to label clones of an isolate within the structure of the International Code has so far not been dealt with and any suggestions would be welcome.

If you find errors or that the code for either the animal or country of an isolate is not in any of the relevant files please notify Jeffrey Shaw ( This information is based on previously published lists which have been updated.