Volume 97, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



is the causative agent of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Pakistan. Here, intraspecific diversity of from northern Pakistan was investigated using multilocus microsatellite typing. Fourteen polymorphic microsatellite markers were typed in 34 recently collected isolates from Pakistan along with 158 archival strains of diverse Afro-Eurasian origins. Previously published profiles for 145 strains of originating from different regions of Africa, Central Asia, Iran, and Middle East were included for comparison. Six consistently well-supported genetic groups were resolved: 1) Asia, 2) Morroco A, 3) Namibia and Kenya A, 4) Kenya B/Tunisia and Galilee, 5) Morocco B, and 6) Middle East. Strains from northern Pakistan were assigned to Asian cluster except for three that were placed in a geographically distant genetic group; Morocco A. Lesion variability among these Pakistani strains was not associated with specific genetic profile. Pakistani strains showed little genetic differentiation from strains of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria (F = 0.00–0.06); displayed evidence of modest genetic flow with India (F = 0.14). Furthermore, genetic structuring within these isolates was not geographically defined. Pak–Afghan cluster was in significant linkage disequilibrium (I = 1.43), had low genetic diversity, and displayed comparatively higher heterozygosity (F = −0.62). Patterns of genetic diversity observed suggest dominance of a minimally diverse clonal lineage within northern Pakistan. This is surprising as a wide clinical spectrum was observed in patients, suggesting the importance of host and other factors. Further genotyping studies of isolates displaying different clinical phenotypes are required to validate this potentially important observation.


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  • Received : 09 Nov 2016
  • Accepted : 30 Jun 2017

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