Background: visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a critical public health problem in over ninety countries. The control measures adopted in Brazil have been insufficient when it comes to preventing the spread of this overlooked disease. In this context, a precise diagnosis of VL in dogs and humans could help to reduce the number of cases of this disease. Distinct studies for the diagnosis of VL have used single recombinant proteins in serological assays; however, the results have been variable, mainly in relation to the sensitivity of the antigens. In this context, the development of multiepitope-based proteins could be relevant to solving such problem. Methods: a chimeric protein (rMELEISH) was constructed based on amino acid sequences from kinesin 39 (k39), alpha-tubulin, and heat-shock proteins HSP70 and HSP 83.1, and tested in enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA) for the detection of L. infantum infection using canine (n = 140) and human (n = 145) sera samples. Results: in the trials, rMELEISH was able to discriminate between VL cases and cross-reactive diseases and healthy samples, with sensitivity and specificity values of 100%, as compared to the use of a soluble Leishmania antigenic extract (SLA). Conclusions: the preliminary data suggest that rMELEISH has the potential to be tested in future studies against a larger serological panel and in field conditions for the diagnosis of canine and human VL.