Multiple hybrid genotypes of Leishmania (viannia) in a focus of mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis.

Department of Infectious & Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene (Impact Factor: 2.74). 04/2007; 76(3):573-8.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The principal agent of mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL) is the South American protozoan parasite Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis. This organism is generally considered to be clonal, that is, it does not to undergo genetic exchange. Nevertheless, apparent hybrids between several Leishmania species have been reported in the New World and the Old World. When we characterized isolates of Leishmania (Viannia) from a single focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) and MCL, we found a remarkable phenotypic and genotypic diversity, with 12 zymodemes and 20 microsatellite genotypes. Furthermore, 26 of the 59 isolates were L. braziliensis/L. peruviana phenotypic hybrids that displayed 7 different microsatellite genotypes. A hybrid genotype was the only organism isolated from 4 patients with MCL. Thus hybrids must be included among the potential agents of MCL. Despite the propensity for clonality, hybrids are also an important feature of Leishmania (Viannia) and may give rise to epidemiologically important emergent genotypes.

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