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Exp Parasitol. 2004 May-Jun;107(1-2):105-14.

Leishmania tropica: intraspecific polymorphisms in lipophosphoglycan correlate with transmission by different Phlebotomus species.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.


Lipophosphoglycan (LPG) is a dominant surface molecule of Leishmania promastigotes which has been shown to be critical for parasite-sand fly vector interactions. To provide additional evidence for its importance in transmission, the LPGs from three Leishmania tropica strains that differ in their capability to infect sand flies, were biochemically characterized. One of these strains, ISER/IL/98/LRC-L747, was isolated from a Phlebotomus sergenti female collected in the Judean Desert close to Jerusalem. The other strains originated from a different focus in the Galilee region of northern Israel. One was isolated from a patient (MHOM/IL/02/Ofri-LRC-L863) and the other from a naturally infected Phlebotomus arabicus female (IARA/IL/00/Amnunfly1-LRC-L810). The LPG structures of the isolates from the Galilee (L863 and L810) were similar to each other, but differed in the LPG repeat units from the Judean Desert isolate (L747). The terminal sugar in the side chains of the repeat units of LPG purified from L863 and L810 was beta-galactose and was not capped with glucose, unlike L747 and a previously characterized L. tropica strain from Iraq (L36). Since L810 was isolated from P. arabicus and L747 from P. sergenti, variations in the structure of their LPGs may explain their capacity to infect different sand fly species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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