Send to

Choose Destination
J Parasitol. 1984 Feb;70(1):89-98.

Schizodeme and zymodeme characterization of Leishmania in the investigation of foci of visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis.


Leishmania parasites were isolated from humans and canines in foci of cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis. After in vitro cultivation the parasites were examined by the following biochemical techniques: (i) restriction analysis of kinetoplast DNA (kDNA) also known as schizodeme analysis (Morel et al., 1980); (ii) zymodeme analysis (Barret et al., 1980); by agarose gel electrophoresis and (iii) isoelectricfocusing in polyacrylamide gels. The strains of cutaneous and visceralizing leishmanias studied could be differentiated by schizodeme analysis, using the endonuclease MspI, into three complexes agreeing with those accepted for human New World leishmaniasis. In the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, isolates from a focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis were identified as L. braziliensis braziliensis and from a focus of visceral leishmaniasis were identified as L. donovani by zymodeme characterization. Identical restriction enzyme profiles of kDNA from human and canine isolates indicated that in the cutaneous focus at Jacarepagu√°, Rio de Janeiro, the same strain was probably circulating in both the canine and human populations. This suggests a possible role for dogs as a reservoir host for L. braziliensis braziliensis. In addition, our results confirm the importance of dogs as reservoirs in visceral leishmaniasis. The stability of the electrophoretic patterns of restriction digest ("fingerprints") of Leishmania kDNA as well as differences in the sensitivity of the techniques used were demonstrated. Strains from widely different geographical areas as well as strains maintained in vivo and in vitro showed identical kDNA restriction patterns, while strains showing similar banding patterns by enzyme electrophoresis could be differentiated by schizodeme analysis. These results demonstrate the usefulness of an integrated biochemical approach in the identification of Leishmania.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center