We have demonstrated that the microculture method (MCM) enables the diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) with samples from both the bone marrow (BM) and peripheral blood (PB). The MCM is superior to the traditional culture method (TCM) as determined by its higher sensitivity in the detection of promastigotes and the more rapid time for emergence of promastigotes. The sensitivity of MCM (100% in BMs and 77.8-100% in PB) was considerably higher than that of the TCM (37.5-100% in BMs and 0-100% in PB) according to decreasing parasite density (P < 0.05). The concentration of parasites in buffy coats has increased the sensitivity of both methods, especially that of the MCM. Detection of promastigotes by MCM requires lower amounts of culture media (25-50 mu L) and shorter incubation periods (2-7 days) than TCM (2.5-3.5 mL and 15-35 days, respectively). MCM was found to be valuable with the advantages of simplicity and sensitivity, in addition to being cost-effective in the routine diagnosis for VL in Adana Turkey.