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Transplacental Transmission of Cutaneous Leishmania mexicana Strain in BALB/c Mice

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  • Departamento de Infectologia e Inmunologia Perinatal, Instituto Nacional de Perinatologia, Mexico City, Mexico

The vertical transmission of leishmaniasis has been reported in species that cause visceral leishmaniasis. However, this condition has scarcely been documented in species that cause cutaneous leishmaniasis. The aim of this study was to determine experimentally whether L. mexicana is transmitted vertically. A control group of BALB/c mice and a group infected with L. mexicana were mated, the gestation was monitored, and females were killed before delivery. Four resorptions (P = 0.023) and eight fetal deaths (P = 0.010) were observed in the infected female group; furthermore, the offspring body weight of the infected group was lower than the body weight of the healthy group (P = 0.009). DNA amplification by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) revealed that all placentas and maternal spleens as well as 39 of 110 fetal spleens obtained from the offspring of infected mothers tested positive for Leishmania. In conclusion, L. mexicana is transmitted transplacentally and causes fetal death, resorption, and reduction in offspring body weight.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Norma Galindo-Sevilla, Instituto Nacional de Perinatología, Montes Urales 800, Col. Lomas de Virreyes, Delegación Miguel Hidalgo, México D.F. 11000, Mexico. E-mail: NGalindoSevilla@hotmail.com

Authors' addresses: Miroslava Avila-García, Javier Mancilla-Ramírez, Enrique Segura-Cervantes, Blanca Farfan-Labonne, Alicia Ramírez-Ramírez, and Norma Galindo-Sevilla, Departamento de Infectología e Inmunología Perinatal, Instituto Nacional de Perinatologia (INPer), Mexico City, Mexico, E-mails: mavilagarcia@gmail.com, javiermancilla@hotmail.com, enriquesc2020@terra.com.mx, uqbarita@gmail.com, armzrmz@gmail.com, and NGalindoSevilla@hotmail.com.

Reprint requests: Norma Galindo-Sevilla, Instituto Nacional de Perinatología, Montes Urales 800, Col. Lomas de Virreyes, Delegación Miguel Hidalgo, México D.F. 11000, Mexico, E-mail: NGalindoSevilla@hotmail.com.

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