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GENETIC POLYMORPHISM WITHIN THE LEISHMANIA DONOVANI COMPLEX: CORRELATION WITH GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

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  • 1 Institute of Parasitology, Czech Academy of Sciences, and Faculty of Biology, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic; Pathogen Molecular Biology Unit, Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom

Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) was used to detect intraspecific diversity for the Leishmania donovani complex. Fifty-two decameric to 21-meric primers of arbitrary sequence were applied to 15 strains that belong to nine zymodemes. Strains belonging to the species L. major and L. tropica were used as outgroups. A total of 902 amplicons generated by RAPD were scored. Most primers produced species-specific profiles, only 0.6% amplicons were shared by all species, while 4.3% amplicons were common for all 15 strains of the L. donovani complex. Well-supported trees have been constructed, which show a rather strong correlation between the genetic polymorphism of studied strains and their geographic origin. In all obtained trees, L. infantum was paraphyletic. The RAPD profiles suggest that MON-30 belongs to L. donovani. Moreover, the genetic distance between the L. archibaldi strain and other leishmanias does not warrant existence of a separate species.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Julius Lukeš, Department of Molecular Parasitology, Institute of Parasitology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Branišovská 31, 370 05, České Budějovice, Czech Republic.
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