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A primer for Leishmania population genetic studies
- Rougeron, V., De Meeûs, T., Bañuls, A-L.
- Trends in parasitology 2015 v.31 no.2 pp. 52-59
- Leishmania, aneuploidy, heterozygosity, hosts, leishmaniasis, models, new drugs, parasites, phylogeny, public health
- Leishmaniases remain a major public health problem. Despite the development of elaborate experimental techniques and sophisticated statistical tools, how these parasites evolve, adapt themselves to new environmental compartments and hosts, and develop resistance to new drugs remains unclear. Leishmania parasites constitute a complex model from a biological, ecological, and epidemiological point of view but also with respect to their genetics and phylogenetics. With this in view, we seek to outline the criteria, caveats, and confounding factors to be considered for Leishmania population genetic studies. We examine how the taxonomic complexity, heterozygosity, intraspecific and interspecific recombination, aneuploidy, and ameiotic recombination of Leishmania intersect with population genetic studies of this parasite.