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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2013 Mar;13(3):181-7. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2012.1072. Epub 2013 Feb 19.

Microsatellite and mini-exon analysis of Mexican human DTU I Trypanosoma cruzi strains and their susceptibility to nifurtimox and benznidazole.

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Departamento de Inmunología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México .


Chagas disease is caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, and it affects as many as 10 million people in North and South America, where it represents a major public health problem. T. cruzi is a parasite with high genetic diversity, and it has been grouped into 6 discrete typing units (DTUs), designated as T. cruzi I (TcI) to T. cruzi VI (TcVI). Mexican isolates from humans and from vector insects have been primarily found to be TcI, and these isolates are likely to be the strains that cause the clinical manifestations observed in Mexico. However, genetic characterization and drug susceptibility assays are limited in Mexican TcI strains. In this work, 24 Mexican T. cruzi strains, obtained primarily from humans, were studied with 7 locus microsatellites and mini-exon gene by PCR. Also, drug susceptibility was evaluated by growth and mobility assays. All of the human strains belonged to TcI, and they could be further grouped through microsatellite analysis into 2 subgroups (microsatellite genotypes 1 and 2), which were not related to the host clinical status or biological origin of the strain. Two strains, both from wild mammals, belonged to the TcII-TcVI groups; these strains and the CL Brener strain constituted microsatellite genotype 3. The number of alleles in each locus was lower than reported for South American strains, and a departure from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was observed. The susceptibility of these strains to nifurtimox and benznidazole was heterogeneous. T. cruzi strains characterized as microsatellite genotypes 2 and 3 were significantly more susceptible to benznidazole than strains of microsatellite genotype 1. Only 1 Mexican strain resistant to both drugs was found in this study.

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