Prevalence of canine leishmaniasis in Beichuan County, Sichuan, China and phylogenetic evidence for an undescribed Leishmania sp. in China based on 7SL RNA

Parasites & Vectors (Impact Factor: 3.25). 04/2012; 5(1):75. DOI: 10.1186/1756-3305-5-75
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Leishmaniasis is a vector-borne disease, which is still endemic in the west and northwest area of China. Canines are the major reservoirs of Leishmania, the etiological agent of human visceral leishmaniasis. Phlebotomus chinensis is the main transmission vector of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (ZVL). METHODS: In this study, rK39 dip-stick, ELISA and PCR methods were used to investigate the prevalence of canine leishmaniasis (CanL) in Beichuan County, Sichuan Province, China. RESULTS: Among the 86 dogs which were included in the study, 13 dogs were positive using the dip-stick test (15.12%), while 8 dogs were positive using ELISA (9.30%) and 19 dogs were positive for PCR (22.03%). In total, 32 dogs were positive for one or more tests (37.21%). Interestingly, phylogenetic analysis based on the partial 7SL RNA fragment provided evidence that an undescribed Leishmania species, which is clearly a causative agent of CanL and human visceral leishmaniasis, does exist in China. This result is consistent with our previous study. CONCLUSIONS: Our work confirmed that canine leishmaniasis is still prevalent in Beichuan County. Further control is urgently needed, as canine leishmaniasis is of great public health importance. The phylogenetic analysis based on 7SL RNA segment provides evidence for the existence of an undescribed Leishmania sp. in China.

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    ABSTRACT: Leishmaniasis is a debilitating infectious disease that has a variety of clinical forms. In China, visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is the most common symptom, and L. donovani and/or L. infantum are the likely pathogens. In this study, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of five enzyme-coding genes (fh, g6pdh, icd, mpi, pgd) and two conserved genes (hsp70, lack) was used to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of Chinese Leishmania strains. Concatenated alignment of the nucleotide sequences of the seven genes was analyzed and phylogenetic trees were constructed using neighbor-joining and maximum parsimony models. A set of additional sequences from 25 strains (24 strains belong to the L. donovani complex and one strain belongs to L. gerbilli) were retrieved from GenBank to infer the molecular evolutionary history of Leishmania from China and other endemic areas worldwide. Phylogenetic analyses consolidated Chinese Leishmania into four groups: (i) one clade A population comprised 13 isolates from different foci in China, which were pathogenic to humans and canines. This population was subdivided into two subclades, clade A1 and clade A2, which comprised sister organisms to the remaining members of the worldwide L. donovani complex; (ii) a population in clade B consisted of one reference strain of L. turanica and five Chinese strains from Xinjiang; (iii) clade C (SELF-7 and EJNI-154) formed a population that was closely related to clade B, and both isolates were identified as L. gerbilli; and (iv) the final group, clade D, included Sauroleishmania (LIZRD and KXG-E) and was distinct from the other strains. We hypothesize that the phylogeny of Chinese Leishmania is associated with the geographical origins rather than with the clinical forms (VL or CL) of leishmaniasis. To conclude, this study provides further molecular information on Chinese Leishmania isolates and the Chinese isolates appear to have a more complex evolutionary history than previously thought.
    PLoS ONE 04/2013; 8(4):e63124. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0063124 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Leishmania species belong to the family Trypanosomatidae and cause leishmaniasis, a geographically widespread disease that infects humans and other vertebrates. This disease remains endemic in China. Due to the large geographic area and complex ecological environment, the taxonomic position and phylogenetic relationship of Chinese Leishmania isolates remain uncertain. A recent internal transcribed spacer 1 and cytochrome oxidase II phylogeny of Chinese Leishmania isolates has challenged some aspects of their traditional taxonomy as well as cladistics hypotheses of their phylogeny. The current study was designed to provide further disease background and sequence analysis. METHODS: We systematically analyzed 50 cytochrome b (cyt b) gene sequences of 19 isolates (16 from China, 3 from other countries) sequenced after polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using a special primer for cyt b as well as 31 sequences downloaded from GenBank. After alignment, the data were analyzed using the maximum parsimony, Bayesian and netwok methods. RESULTS: Sequences of six haplotypes representing 10 Chinese isolates formed a monophyletic group and clustered with Leishmania tarentolae. The isolates GS1, GS7, XJ771 of this study from China clustered with other isolates of Leishmania donovani complex. The isolate JS1 was a sister to Leishmania tropica, which represented an L. tropica complex with a high posterior probability (PP = 1.00) instead of clustering with L. donovani complex or with the other 10 Chinese isolates. The isolates KXG-2 and GS-GER20 formed a monophyletic group with Leishmania turanica from central Asia. In the different phylogenetic trees, all of the Chinese isolates occurred in at least four groups regardless of geographic distribution. CONCLUSIONS: The undescribed Leishmania species of China, which are clearly causative agents of canine leishmaniasis and human visceral leishmaniasis and are related to Sauroleishmania, may have evolved from a common ancestral parasite that came from the Americas and may have split off earlier than the other old world Leishmania. Our results also suggest the following: the isolates GS7, GS1 and XJ771 occur as part of the L. donovani complex; the JS1 isolate is L. tropica; and the isolate GS-GER20 identified as Leishmania gerbilli is close to KXG-2 which is L. turanica.
    Parasites & Vectors 02/2013; 6(1):32. DOI:10.1186/1756-3305-6-32 · 3.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: The phylogenetic relationships between Chinese Leishmania strains were investigated using lack (Leishmania homolog of receptors for activated protein kinase C) gene sequences, and the power of this gene was assessed for understanding the epidemiology and population genetics of Leishmania. METHODS: The lack gene sequences from Leishmania isolates were sequenced after polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. Sequence alignment was performed and a phylogenetic tree was created using the MEGA5.0 software program. RESULTS: Sequences of 850 bp were analyzed for each of the Leishmania strains collected from different locations in China, and minor differences in sequences were noted between the strains. Four distinct groups formed according to differences in the sequences of the lack gene. Group I consisted of 12 isolates from Shandong, Xinjiang, Gansu and Sichuan. These strains are part of the Leishmania donovani complex and are pathogenic to humans and canines. Group II included six isolates from Xinjiang and a reference strain, Leishmania turanica. Group III contained two isolates (one from a sand fly in Xinjiang and one from a rodent in Inner Mongolia) and they were identified as Leishmania gerbilli. Finally, group IV contained a strain from a sand fly in Xinjiang and a strain from a lizard in Inner Mongolia, and these strains were found to be Sauroleishmania. CONCLUSION: The Chinese Leishmania isolates formed four groups based on differences in the sequences of the lack gene, and this result is consistent with previous studies. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the Leishmania isolates from China are more complicated than previously thought. There is consensus between genetic clustering and identification using classical methods, which means that the lack gene yields polymorphic information that could be used for genotyping Leishmania isolates.
    Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 03/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.meegid.2013.03.026 · 3.22 Impact Factor

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