Genetic Similarity among Central and South American Populations of Leishmania (viannia) braziliensis

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

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Four populations of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis from Central America, Colombia, Peru and Brazil were analyzed and compared for up to 20 enzyme loci. Each of the 180 isolates could be identified as L. braziliensis using combined data from glucose phosphate isomerase and mannose phosphate isomerase. When the most common enzyme band was present at a frequency of ≤ 0.95, the populations were polymorphic (more than a single allomorph for an enzyme) for more than 50% of the loci. Included were diagrammatic representations of the enzyme polymorphisms. Comparisons of levels of enzyme polymorphism and of genetic similarity among other Leishmania populations, L. tropica, L. major, L. mexicana, and L. donovani sensu lato, were discussed. The mean ± SD level of genetic similarity among the four populations was 0.924 ± 0.036 (range 0.878–0.966), which indicates that L. braziliensis is probably one reproductive population from Mexico in the north to Brazil and Peru in the south.

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