Application of kDNA as a molecular marker to analyse Leishmania infantum diversity in Portugal

Sofia Cortes, Isabel Mauricio, Ana Almeida, José Manuel Cristovão, Francine Pratlong, Jean-Pierre Dedet, Lenea Campino

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35 Citations (Scopus)


Around the Mediterranean basin Leishmania infantum is an important parasite causing canine leishmaniasis and visceral and cutaneous clinical forms in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised humans. Efficient monitoring and evaluation of epidemiology with discriminatory molecular markers are required. We investigated the genetic diversity of L. infantum in Portugal by polymerase chain amplification and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of kinetoplastid DNA, as molecular marker. We analysed 120 Portuguese isolates of L. infantum plus 16 other non-Portuguese isolates (as a reference group) from humans, dogs and sand flies. The Portuguese population showed a high degree of polymorphism with a total of 13 profiles identified. The predominant profile was A, which was only detected in the Portuguese samples. The kinetoplastid DNA PCR-RFLP assay described here was suitable for use directly with biological samples and the profiles obtained were stable during long-term growth in vitro and in laboratory animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-283
Number of pages7
JournalParasitology International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


  • Animals
  • DNA, Kinetoplast
  • Dog Diseases
  • Dogs
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genotype
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors
  • Leishmania infantum
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral
  • Phlebotomus
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Portugal
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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