Colonization and genetic diversification processes of Leishmania infantum in the Americas

Schwabl, P. et al. (2021) Colonization and genetic diversification processes of Leishmania infantum in the Americas. Communications Biology, 4, 139. (doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-01658-5) (PMID:33514858) (PMCID:PMC7846609)

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Leishmania infantum causes visceral leishmaniasis, a deadly vector-borne disease introduced to the Americas during the colonial era. This non-native trypanosomatid parasite has since established widespread transmission cycles using alternative vectors, and human infection has become a significant concern to public health, especially in Brazil. A multi-kilobase deletion was recently detected in Brazilian L. infantum genomes and is suggested to reduce susceptibility to the anti-leishmanial drug miltefosine. We show that deletion-carrying strains occur in at least 15 Brazilian states and describe diversity patterns suggesting that these derive from common ancestral mutants rather than from recurrent independent mutation events. We also show that the deleted locus and associated enzymatic activity is restored by hybridization with non-deletion type strains. Genetic exchange appears common in areas of secondary contact but also among closely related parasites. We examine demographic and ecological scenarios underlying this complex L. infantum population structure and discuss implications for disease control.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This study was supported by Inova Fiocruz/VPPCB Fundação Oswaldo Cruz and MCTIC/CNPq No 28/2018–Universal, processo 425347/2018-4 (M.C.B.); Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Institutes of Health (DMID/NIADID/NIH grants AI077896-01 and AI105749-01A1 to P.S.), and the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance, The Wellcome Trust; CNPq Grant number: 401134/2014-8, CAPES Grant number: 0012917, FAPERJ Grant number: e-26/201. 300 2014 (J.R.M.-F.); ERD Funds, project CePaViP (16_019/0000759) (P.V.); Seeding grant from the Institut Pasteur International Department to the LeiSHield Consortium (G.S.F.); Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior–Brasil (CAPES)–Finance Code 001; CNPq-Researcher Fellow (302622/2017-9) Faperj–CNE-E26-202.569/2019 and Apoio às Instituições Sediadas no estado do Rio de Janeiro–E-26/010.101083/2018; PASTEUR–FIOCRUZ–USP PROGRAM (2018), Programa PRINT FIOCRUZ-CAPES (E.C.).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Schwabl, Mr Philipp and Llewellyn, Dr Martin and Jacobs, Mr Arne
Authors: Schwabl, P., Boité, M. C., Bussotti, G., Jacobs, A., Andersson, B., Moreira, O., Freitas-Mesquita, A. L., Meyer-Fernandes, J. R., Telleria, E. L., Traub-Csekö, Y., Vaselek, S., Leštinová, T., Volf, P., Morgado, F. N., Porrozzi, R., Llewellyn, M., Späth, G. F., and Cupolillo, E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Communications Biology
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2399-3642
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2021
First Published:First published in Communications Biology 4:139
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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