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Int J Parasitol. 2003 Sep 15;33(10):997-1003.

Multilocus enzyme electrophoresis analysis of Trypanosoma cruzi isolates from a geographically restricted endemic area for Chagas' disease in Argentina.

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Laboratorio de Patología Experimental, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Nacional de Salta, Calle Buenos Aires 177, CP 4400 Salta, Argentina.


A set of 65 Trypanosoma cruzi stocks from dogs, opossums, insect vectors and humans was isolated in a geographically restricted endemic area for Chagas' disease in Argentina and was analysed by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis for 15 loci. The results show that at least five multilocus genotypes (clonets) circulate in the study area, one belonging to T. cruzi IIe, one to T. cruzi IId and three clonets belonging to T. cruzi I; and they confirm the presence of these lineages in the country. The three clonets attributed to T. cruzi I were identical to each other for all loci except for Sod-2, where three different patterns were identified. These patterns suggest the presence of two homozygous genotypes and one heterozygous genotype. Our results also suggest association of clonet IIe with dogs, clonet IId with humans and the three T. cruzi I clonets with Didelphis albiventris. On the other hand, there was no significant association between Triatoma infestans and any particular clonet circulating in the area. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis of natural selection, from mixed populations of T. cruzi in vectors, toward more restricted populations in mammals. The epidemiological implications of the possible selection of different clonets by different mammal hosts and the significance of two homozygous genotypes and one heterozygous genotype for the Sod-2 locus are discussed.

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