[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease is associated with a very high clinical and epidemiological pleomorphism. This might be better understood through studies on the evolutionary history of the parasite. We explored here the value of antigen genes for the understanding of the evolution within T. cruzi. We selected 11 genes and 12 loci associated with different functions and considered to be involved in host-parasite interaction (cell adhesion, infection, molecular mimicry). The polymorphism of the respective genes in a sample representative of the diversity of T. cruzi was screened by PCR-RFLP and evolutionary relationships were inferred by phenetic analysis. Our results support the classification of T. cruzi in 2 major lineages and 6 discrete typing units (DTUs). The topology of the PCR-RFLP tree was the one that better fitted with the epidemiological features of the different DTUs: (i) lineage I, being encountered in sylvatic as well as domestic transmission cycles, (ii) IIa/c being associated with a sylvatic transmission cycle and (iii) IIb/d/e being associated with a domestic transmission cycle. Our study also supported the hypothesis that the evolutionary history of T. cruzi has been shaped by a series of hybridization events in the framework of a predominant clonal evolution pattern.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease, is subdivided into 6 discrete typing units (DTUs); their identification is important to understand clinical pleomorphism and track sylvatic DTUs that might (re-)invade domestic foci of the disease and jeopardize the running control programs.
The genetic polymorphism of 12 loci was analyzed by multilocus polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment--length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis (MLP analysis) in a sample representative of the diversity within T. cruzi. We paid particular attention to genes involved in host-parasite relationships, because these may be prone to polymorphism as an adaptive answer to the immune selective pressure.
The results of MLP analysis were shown to agree with the current multilocus enzyme electrophoresis- and random amplified polymorphic DNA-based classification of T. cruzi in 6 DTUs, thereby providing a taxonomic validation of our method. Our data supported hypotheses of genetic recombination within T. cruzi. We demonstrated direct applicability of PCR-RFLP analysis to blood of mammal hosts and intestine content of vector insects. Domestic DTUs were encountered in wild animals, and, reciprocally, sylvatic DTUs were encountered in humans, raising questions about changes of transmission patterns.
MLP analysis represents a new alternative to existing molecular methods for T. cruzi typing. It might offer an invaluable support to clinical and epidemiological studies and to control programs.
Preview · Article · May 2007 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases