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Population structure of Tunisian Leishmania infantum and evidence for the existence of hybrids and gene flow between genetically different populations

Abstract : Twenty-seven strains of Leishmania infantum from north and central Tunisia belonging to the three main MON zymodemes (the MON-typing system is based on multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MLEE) of 15 enzymes) found in this country (MON-1, MON-24 and MON-80) and representing different pathologies (visceral, cutaneous and canine leishmaniasis) have been studied to understand the genetic polymorphism within this species. Intraspecific variation could be detected in L. infantum by the use of 14 hypervariable microsatellite markers. In addition to microsatellite repeat length variation, a high degree of allelic heterozygosity has been observed among the strains investigated, suggestive of sexual recombination within L. infantum groups. The two major clusters found by using Bayesian statistics as well as distance analysis are consistent with the classification based on isoenzymes, dividing Tunisian L infantum into MON-1 and MON-24/MON-80. Moreover, the existence of hybrid strains between the MON-1 and the non-MON-1 populations has been shown and verified by analysis of clones of one of these strains. Substructure analysis discriminated four groups of L. infantum. The major MON-1 cluster split into two groups, one comprising only Tunisian strains and the second both Tunisian and European strains. The major MON-24 cluster was subdivided into two groups with geographical and clinical feature correlations: a dermotropic group of strains mainly from the north, and a viscerotropic group of strains from the centre of Tunisia. The four viscerotropic hybrid strains all originated from central Tunisia and were typed by MLEE as MON-24 or MON-80. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing relationships between clinical picture and population substructure of L. infantum MON-24 based on genotype data, as well as the existence of hybrids between zymodemes MON-1 and MON-24/MON-80, and proving one of these hybrid strains by molecular analysis of the parent strain and its clones. (C) 2009 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 11:02:55 AM
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Najla Chargui, Ahmad Amro, Najoua Haouas, Gabriele Schoenian, Hamouda Babba, et al.. Population structure of Tunisian Leishmania infantum and evidence for the existence of hybrids and gene flow between genetically different populations. International Journal for Parasitology, Elsevier, 2009, 39 (7), pp.801-811. ⟨10.1016/j.ijpara.2008.11.016⟩. ⟨pasteur-01375189⟩



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