KDNA genetic signatures obtained by LSSP-PCR analysis of Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum isolated from the New and the Old World

Janaína Sousa Campos Alvarenga, Carla Maia Ligeiro, Célia Maria Ferreira Gontijo, Sofia Cortes, Lenea Campino, Annamaria Ravara Vago, Maria Norma Melo

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Abstract

Background: Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) caused by species from the Leishmania donovani complex is the most severe form of the disease, lethal if untreated. VL caused by Leishmania infantum is a zoonosis with an increasing number of human cases and millions of dogs infected in the Old and the New World. In this study, L. infantum (syn. L.chagasi) strains were isolated from human and canine VL cases. The strains were obtained from endemic areas from Brazil and Portugal and their genetic polymorphism was ascertained using the LSSP-PCR (Low-Stringency Single Specific Primer PCR) technique for analyzing the kinetoplastid DNA (kDNA) minicircles hypervariable region. Principal Findings: KDNA genetic signatures obtained by minicircle LSSP-PCR analysis of forty L. infantum strains allowed the grouping of strains in several clades. Furthermore, LSSP-PCR profiles of L. infantum subpopulations were closely related to the host origin (human or canine). To our knowledge this is the first study which used this technique to compare genetic polymorphisms among strains of L. infantum originated from both the Old and the New World. Conclusions: LSSP-PCR profiles obtained by analysis of L. infantum kDNA hypervariable region of parasites isolated from human cases and infected dogs from Brazil and Portugal exhibited a genetic correlation among isolates originated from the same reservoir, human or canine. However, no association has been detected among the kDNA signatures and the geographical origin of L. infantum strains.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere43363
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume7
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2012

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