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Genetic and immunologic analysis of experimental interspecies hybrids between visceral and cutaneous strains of Leishmania.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — Poster Session IV

10:00 a.m. –12:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center



* FARE Award Winner


  • A Romano
  • E Inbar
  • A Debrabant
  • M Charmoy
  • P Lawyer
  • F Ribeiro-Gomes
  • M Barhoumi
  • M Grigg
  • J Shaik
  • D Dobson
  • S Beverley
  • D Sacks


Following transmission to the skin of their mammalian host by the bite an infected sand fly, Leishmania(L.) major produces localized cutaneous lesions while L. infantum can disseminate to the liver and spleen in susceptible hosts. The parasite genes involved in these tissue tropisms and their interaction with the mammalian host remain largely unknown. While it is known that genetic exchange between different strains of L. major can occur in the sand fly vector, genetic exchange between two different species has yet to be experimentally demonstrated. To explore the possibility of mating between L. major and L. infantum, we co-infected Lutzomyia longilpalpis sand flies using parasite lines engineered to express distinct antibiotic resistance markers. Eleven double antibiotic resistant hybrids were selected that were shown to be full genomic hybrids by multi-locus genotyping. Infection in C57BL/6 showed that the genes controlling the skin and viscera tropisms of the parents were differentially inherited by the hybrid progeny, suggesting that they could be used for genetic linkage analysis. In BALB/c mice, however, which is normally susceptible to uncontrolled growth of L. major, none of the hybrid progeny produced footpad swelling, indicating complete dominance of the L. infantum genes controlling this phenotype.

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