Main content area

Phylogenetic relationships of Leishmania species based on trypanosomatid barcode (SSU rDNA) and gGAPDH genes: Taxonomic revision of Leishmania (L.) infantum chagasi in South America

Marcili, Arlei, Sperança, Marcia Ap., da Costa, Andrea P., Madeira, Maria de F., Soares, Herbert S., Sanches, Camila de O.C.C., Acosta, Igor da C.L., Girotto, Aline, Minervino, Antonio H.H., Horta, Maurício C., Shaw, Jeffrey J., Gennari, Solange M.
Infection, genetics, and evolution 2014 v.25 pp. 44-51
DNA barcoding, Endotrypanum, Leishmania donovani, Leishmania enriettii, Leishmania infantum, dogs, genes, geographical distribution, hosts, humans, monophyly, natural history, nucleotide sequences, pathogens, ribosomal DNA, ribosomal RNA, taxonomic revisions, Brazil
Phylogenetic studies on trypanosomatid barcode using V7V8 SSU rRNA and gGAPDH gene sequences have provided support for redefining some trypanosomatid species and positioning new isolates. The genus Leishmania is a slow evolving monophyletic group and including important human pathogens. The phylogenetic relationships of this genus have been determined by the natural history of its vertebrate hosts, vector specificity, clinical manifestations, geographical distribution and molecular approaches using different markers. Thus, in an attempt to better understand the phylogenetic relationships of Leishmania species, we performed phylogenetic analysis on trypanosomatid barcode using V7V8 SSU rRNA and gGAPDH gene sequences among a large number of Leishmania species and also several Brazilian visceral Leishmania infantum chagasi isolates obtained from dogs and humans. Our phylogenetic analysis strongly suggested that Leishmania hertigi and Leishmania equatoriensis should be taxonomically revised so as to include them in the genus Endotrypanum; and supported ancient divergence of Leishmania enriettii. This, together with recent data in the literature, throws light on the discussion about the evolutionary southern supercontinent hypothesis for the origin of Leishmania ssp. and validates L. infantum chagasi from Brazil, thus clearly differentiating it from L. infantum, for the first time.