Comparative genomics of canine-isolated Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis from an endemic focus of visceral leishmaniasis in Governador Valadares, southeastern Brazil


Leishmaniasis is a highly diverse group of diseases caused by kinetoplastid of the genus Leishmania. These parasites are taxonomically diverse, with human pathogenic species separated into two subgenera according to their development site inside the alimentary tract of the sand fly insect vector. The disease encompasses a variable spectrum of clinical manifestations with tegumentary or visceral symptoms. Among the causative species in Brazil, Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis is an important etiological agent of human cutaneous leishmaniasis that accounts for more than 8% of all cases in endemic regions. L. (L.) amazonensis is generally found in the north and northeast regions of Brazil. Here, we report the first isolation of L. (L.) amazonensis from dogs with clinical manifestations of visceral leishmaniasis in Governador Valadares, an endemic focus in the southeastern Brazilian State of Minas Gerais where L. (L.) infantum is also endemic. These isolates were characterized in terms of SNPs, chromosome and gene copy number variations, confirming that they are closely related to a previously sequenced isolate obtained in 1973 from the typical Northern range of this species. The results presented in this article will increase our knowledge of L. (L.) amazonensis-specific adaptations to infection, parasite survival and the transmission of this Amazonian species in a new endemic area of Brazil.

In Sci Rep 7:40804
James Cotton
James Cotton
Senior Staff Scientist

My research interests are in the genomics, and particularly population genomics of parasites, particularly those that cause neglected tropical diseases