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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1983 Jul;32(4):694-702.

A comparative study of different Leishmania tropica isolates from Iran: correlation between infectivity and cytochemical properties.


Five isolates of Leishmania tropica from southwest Iran were studied to identify correlates among human disease, animal infectivity, and surface biochemistry. Clinical patterns of the disease in humans differed. One striking strain, LT-249, produced a small dry lesion which did not heal during four years of observation. Infectivity of these L. tropica for mice was correlated with lectin agglutination patterns and interaction with macrophages. There was also a significant difference among the five isolates regarding infectivity for BALB/c mice; isolate LT-249 was not infective whereas all the others were. All isolates agglutinated with Concanavalin A (Con A), Ricinus communis and soybean agglutinin but not with four other lectins listed. However, Leishmania isolate LT-249 showed much poorer agglutination with all lectins than did the other four isolates. Two isolates were selected for detailed study of attachment to macrophages, one, LT-249, which was not infective and one, LT-252, which was infective for BALB/c mice. The number of promastigotes which attached to macrophages in vitro was the same, but the mechanism of attachment differed since only the LT-252 bound predominantly by Con A-mannose receptor interaction. These results indicate a correlation among animal infectivity, lectin agglutination, and promastigote-macrophage attachment. In particular one isolate of L. tropica which caused prolonged infection in humans was not infective in BALB/c mice, showed poor agglutination with lectins, and bound to macrophages by a different mechanism than did other isolates from the same region.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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