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Parasitology. 1999 Sep;119 ( Pt 3):237-46.

Genomic diversity in the Leishmania donovani complex.

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Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.


The Leishmania donovani complex is considered to be composed of 3 species; L. donovani, L. infantum and L. chagasi, although this classification has been challenged. Genotypic relationships within the complex were evaluated at different levels by: binding of the probe Lmet9, specific for L. chagasi and Old World Leishmania spp.; partial sequencing of a constitutive major surface protease single gene (mspC) and random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD). The Old World Leishmania spp. and the L. donovani complex have a monophyletic origin. Leishmania chagasi clearly belongs to the L. donovani complex but it is indistinguishable from L. infantum, which suggests introduction of L. chagasi into the New World in recent history. Leishmania infantum/L. chagasi was identified as a monophyletic group within the L. donovani complex but L. donovani may be paraphyletic. Diversity within L. donovani is substantial and phylogeographical patterns of association were found.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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