Characterization of Leishmania Spp. by Isozyme Electrophoresis

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  • Gorgas Memorial Laboratory, Panama, Republic of Panama

In this study, isozyme patterns for 14 different enzymes were compared for culture strains of Leishmania braziliensis, L. hertigi, L. mexicana, L. donovani, L. tropica, and L. adleri. The isozyme separation was made by means of cellulose acetate electrophoresis. Each of the species had distinct isozyme patterns for aspartate aminotransferase, glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, and fructokinase. For other enzymes, two or more species had identically migrating bands; however, by using combinations of the other 10 enzymes it was possible to separate any one of the six species. In addition to these interspecific differences the Panama strains of L. braziliensis had two different malic dehydrogenase isozyme patterns; therefore, they fell into two distinct groups. These strains otherwise had identical isozyme patterns.

Author Notes

Present address: Biology Department, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio 44555.

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