Genotype Profile of Leishmania major Strains Isolated from Tunisian Rodent Reservoir Hosts Revealed by Multilocus Microsatellite Typing

Abstract : Zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ZCL) caused by Leishmania (L.) major parasites represents a major health problem with a large spectrum of clinical manifestations. Psammomys (P.) obesus and Meriones (M.) shawi represent the most important host reservoirs of these parasites in Tunisia. We already reported that infection prevalence is different between these two rodent species. We aimed in this work to evaluate the importance of genetic diversity in L. major parasites isolated from different proven and suspected reservoirs for ZCL. Using the multilocus microsatellites typing (MLMT), we analyzed the genetic diversity among strains isolated from (i) P. obesus (n = 31), (ii) M. shawi (n = 8) and (iii) Mustela nivalis (n = 1), captured in Sidi Bouzid, an endemic region for ZCL located in the Center of Tunisia. Studied strains present a new homogeneous genotype profile so far as all tested markers and showed no polymorphism regardless of the parasite host-reservoir origin. This lack of genetic diversity among these L. major isolates is the first genetic information on strains isolated from Leishmania reservoirs hosts in Tunisia. This result indicates that rodent hosts are unlikely to exert a selective pressure on parasites and stresses on the similarity of geographic and ecological features in this study area. Overall, these results increase our knowledge among rodent reservoir hosts and L. major parasites interaction.
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Wissem Ghawar, Hanane Attia, Jihène Bettaieb, Rihab Yazidi, Dhafer Laouini, et al.. Genotype Profile of Leishmania major Strains Isolated from Tunisian Rodent Reservoir Hosts Revealed by Multilocus Microsatellite Typing. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2015, 9 (9), pp.e107043. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0107043⟩. ⟨pasteur-01077478⟩

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