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Distinct genetic profiles of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis associate with clinical variations in cutaneous-leishmaniasis patients from an endemic area in Brazil

  • Patrícia Flávia Quaresma (a1) (a2), Cristiana Ferreira Alves de Brito (a1), Jeronimo Marteleto Nunes Rugani (a1), Janaína de Moura Freire (a1), Rodrigo de Paula Baptista (a3), Elizabeth Castro Moreno (a2), Raquel Carvalho Gontijo (a1), Felipe Dutra Rego (a1), Joaquim Edemilson Diniz (a4), Maria Norma Melo (a2) and Célia Maria Ferreira Gontijo (a1)...


American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) samples obtained from the lesions of patients with typical (n = 25, 29%), atypical (n = 60, 69%) or both (n = 2%) clinical manifestations were analysed by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, hsp70 restriction-fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), hsp70 sequencing and phylogenetics methods. The hsp70 PCR-RFLP analysis revealed two different profiles whose the most samples differed from those expected for Leishmania braziliensis and the other Leishmania species tested: of 39 samples evaluated, two (5%) had a restriction profile corresponding to L. braziliensis, and 37 (95%) had a restriction profile corresponding to a variant pattern. A 1300-bp hsp70 gene fragment was sequenced to aid in parasite identification and a phylogenetic analysis was performed including 26 consensus sequences from the ATL patient's samples and comparing to other Leishmania and trypanosomatids species. The dendrogram allowed to observe a potential population structure of L. braziliensis complex in the studied region, emphasizing that the majority of clinical samples presented a variant genetic profile. Of interest, the L. braziliensis diversity was associated with different clinical manifestations whose parasites with hsp70 variant profile were associated with atypical lesions. The results may be helpful to improve the diagnosis, treatment and control measures of the ATL in endemic areas.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Patrícia Flávia Quaresma, Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, CEP: 30190-002, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Tel.: +55 31 3349 7755, fax +55 31 3291 7795 E-mail:


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