Volume 61, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Twenty-four Trypanosoma cruzi stocks isolated from vectors and from human and Didelphis marsupialis hosts from highly separated sylvatic localities in Colombia were characterized by isoenzyme and schizodeme analyses. The stocks were collected primarily from sylvatic ecotopes representing areas of low, moderate, and high endemicity for Chagas' diseases in Colombia. Parasites were characterized mainly by schizodeme analysis with the restriction enzyme Eco RI and the isoenzyme analysis was performed at 10 genetic loci. These analyses demonstrated an agreement between the classifications based on the isoenzyme analysis and on the restriction fragment length polymorphism patterns obtained with the Colombian stocks. There is clear evidence of demic subdivision between the eastern (E) and western (W) stocks separated by the Andean Mountains and Magdalena River, which is likely due to the geographic isolation generated by these topographic features. Heterozygosity estimates indicate that the E group could be more ancient than the W group. As was postulated in a previous study, these results are also compatible with the existence of a clonal population structure in Colombian sylvatic T. cruzi. Evidence presented here failed to demonstrate a correlation between the degree of endemy and genetic clustering. Finally, schizodeme and isoenzymatic analyses comparing Colombian T. cruzi stocks with others from Chile confirm that Colombian isolates are genetically related to zymodeme 1 and distant from zymodeme 2.


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