Identification of Leishmania Spp. by Multiple Isozyme Analysis

Richard D. Kreutzer Biology Department, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio 44555

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Marie E. Semko Biology Department, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio 44555

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L. D. Hendricks Department of Parasitology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C. 20012

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N. Wright Department of Parasitology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C. 20012

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Biochemical data as enzyme profiles which were obtained by cellulose acetate electrophoresis (CAE) are reported on 44 Leishmania isolates. These enzyme profiles contain data from 25 enzyme systems. Calculations from the CAE data on average polymorphism indicated that Leishmania species/types or groups can be expected to be about 25% polymorphic, which suggests that isolate pairs which have profiles about 75% or more identical should be considered samples from the same species/type, and isolates that are significantly less than 75% identical are therefore samples from different species/types. There were five major groupings of isolates according to enzyme profiles, which were for the most part consistent with groupings of the genus based on other criteria: braziliensis, mexicana, donovani, tropica and hertigi profiles. Within these groups there were natural subgroups of isolates among which there was 75% or more allozyme or allomorph (genetic) identity. The braziliensis profile group had two subgroups: panamensis and braziliensis or guayanensis, and the mexicana profile group had three subgroups: mexicana, amazonensis and peruviana. There was an indication that an L. d. infantum isolate might be different from the other L. donovani isolates, and that the L. tropica isolates could be samples from more than one group. The data reported here are consistent with previously reported CAE data, but suggest that isozyme analysis of Leishmania isolates leading to identification should be based on data from many enzyme systems rather than just a few.

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