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Multifaceted population structure and reproductive strategy in Leishmania donovani complex in one Sudanese village.

Abstract : Leishmania species of the subgenus Leishmania and especially L. donovani are responsible for a large proportion of visceral leishmaniasis cases. The debate on the mode of reproduction and population structure of Leishmania parasites remains opened. It has been suggested that Leishmania parasites could alternate different modes of reproduction, more particularly clonality and frequent recombinations either between related individuals (endogamy) or between unrelated individuals (outcrossing) within strongly isolated subpopulations. To determine whether this assumption is generalized to other species, a population genetics analysis within Leishmania donovani complex strains was conducted within a single village. The results suggest that a mixed-mating reproduction system exists, an important heterogeneity of subsamples and the coexistence of several genetic entities in Sudanese L. donovani. Indeed, results showed significant genetic differentiation between the three taxa (L. donovani, L. infantum and L. archibaldi) and between the human or canine strains of such taxa, suggesting that there may be different imbricated transmission cycles involving either dogs or humans. Results also are in agreement with an almost strict specificity of L. donovani stricto sensu to human hosts. This empirical study demonstrates the complexity of population structure in the genus Leishmania and the need to pursue such kind of analyses at the smallest possible spatio-temporal and ecological scales.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 11:44:22 AM
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Virginie Rougeron, Thierry de Meeûs, Mallorie Hide, Georges Le Falher, Bruno Bucheton, et al.. Multifaceted population structure and reproductive strategy in Leishmania donovani complex in one Sudanese village.. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Public Library of Science, 2011, 5 (12), pp.e1448. ⟨10.1371/journal.pntd.0001448⟩. ⟨inserm-00691457⟩

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