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The endosymbiotic Leishmania RNA virus 1 (LRV1) has been associated with severity and clinical manifestations of American tegumentary leishmaniasis caused by species of the Leishmania (Viannia) subgenus. Between and within Leishmania species, and among endemic countries, the prevalence of LRV is highly variable. The LRV virus has not been detected in L. (V.) panamensis, the second-most prevalent species in Central America and Colombia. However, no systematic screening of LRV has been conducted in L. (V.) panamensis, and thus it is still controversial whether this virus is truly absent from the species. We sought to determine the prevalence of LRV1 in L. (V.) panamensis clinical strains isolated from patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), from different geographic areas of Colombia. We analyzed 219 clinical strains; 78% were L. (V.) panamensis, 18% were L. (V.) braziliensis, and 4% were L. (V.) guyanensis. Screening for LRV1 was performed by quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. The LRV1 was detected in 18% (7 of 40) of L. (V) braziliensis strains, and was not detected in any of the L. (V.) guyanensis or L. (V.) panamensis strains. The LRV1-positive L. (V). braziliensis strains came from the Amazon Basin. Of the seven LRV1-positive strains, two were isolated from patients with mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, and the remaining from patients with CL. Our results confirm the absence of LRV1 in L. (V.) panamensis in Colombia.
Financial support: This work was financed by the NIH, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Tropical Medicine Research Centers (grant no. U19AI129910) and the Colombian National Programa Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación en Salud of Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (contract no. 848-2019, code no. 222984368586). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Ethics statement: This study was approved and monitored by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Human Subjects of the CIDEIM (approval code no. CIEIH1274) in accordance with national and international guidelines for the conduct of clinical studies. Samples and data used in this study were collected previously from patients recruited under other IRB-approved study protocols at CIDEIM. Before including and using patient information, all informed consent forms were reviewed; only data and samples from those who provided written authorization for use in future studies were included.
Authors’ addresses: Mariana Rosales-Chilama, Olga L. Fernández, and María Adelaida Gómez, Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Médicas-CIDEIM, Cali, Columbia, and Universidad Icesi, Cali, Colombia, E-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org. Monica Y. Oviedo, Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Médicas-CIDEIM, Cali, Colombia, E-mail: email@example.com. Yury K. Quintero, Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Médicas-CIDEIM, Cali, Colombia, and Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.