Differentiation of **Leishmania (Viannia) panamensis** and **Leishmania (V.) guyanensis** using **Bcc**I for **hsp**70 PCR-RFLP
Montalvo Alvarez, Ana Margarita
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
, p. 364-367
University of Antwerp
Leishmania panamensis and Leishmania guyanensis are two species of the subgenus Viannia that are genetically very similar. Both parasites are usually associated with cutaneous leishmaniasis, but also have the potential to cause the mucocutaneous form of the disease. In addition, the study of foci and consequently the identification of vectors and probable reservoirs involved in transmission require a correct differentiation between both species, which is important at epidemiological level. We explored the possibility of identifying these species by using restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) in the gene coding for heat-shock protein 70 (hsp70). Previously, an hsp70 PCR-RFLP assay proved to be very effective in differentiating other Leishmania species when HaeIII is used as restriction enzyme. Based on hsp70 sequences analysis, BccI was found to generate species-specific fragments that can easily be recognized by agarose gel electrophoresis. Using the analysis of biopsies, scrapings, and parasite isolates previously grouped in a cluster comprising both L. panamensis and L. guyanensis, we showed that our approach allowed differentiation of both entities. This offers the possibility not only for identification of parasites in biological samples, but also to apply molecular epidemiology in certain countries of the New World, where several Leishmania species could coexist.