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J Parasit Dis. 2011 Oct;35(2):116-22. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

Characterization of the recent clinical isolates of Indian Kala-azar patients by RAPD-PCR method.

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Department of Zoology, Bethune College, 181, Bidhan Sarani, Kolkata, 700006 India.


Leishmaniasis is one of the most important vector borne diseases caused by kinetoplastid protozoa Leishmania sp. Among all forms of Leishmaniasis, Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) or Kala-azar is the severest form of the illness. VL is characterized by fever, hepatosplenomegaly, anaemia, edema, weight loss and invariably fatal if left untreated. Characterization of Leishmania sp. is extremely necessary to understand the epidemiology, taxonomy and population genetics of the parasites which ultimately helps in designing appropriate drug regimen to combat the disease. In this study, we aimed to type the clinical isolates of Leishmania species collected in the period 2006-2010 from patients (n = 9) diagnosed with Kala-azar and post Kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) by RAPD-PCR method using eight selected primers. Genome of the clinical isolates were amplified and electrophoresed in agarose gel. These were compared with the RAPD PCR profiles of WHO reference strains for L. donovani (DD8) and L. tropica (K27) respectively. We calculated the Jaccard's Similarity Coefficient and found one (study code T5) out of nine isolates as L. tropica while the rest were L. donovani. This pilot study supports the earlier single report claiming that both the species are responsible for Kala-azar in India and it also emphasizes the need for more systematic typing of clinical isolates of Indian Kala-azar.


Indian Kala-azar; Leishmania donovani; Leishmania tropica; Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA-PCR

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