How to succeed in parasitic life without sex? Asking **Leishmania**How to succeed in parasitic life without sex? Asking **Leishmania**
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Trends in parasitology. - London
18(2001):2, p. 81-85
Eukaryotes use sexual recombination to achieve innovation and adaptation to a changing environment, a mechanism that is exceptional in Leishmania. It is postulated that asexual mechanisms contribute efficiently to parasite fitness and that sexual recombination would not be necessary for the production of a large repertoire of genotypes. The model discussed in this review used a major Leishmania glycoprotein, gp63, which is involved in hostparasite relationships. Mitotic recombination, which occurs between and within tandem repeats, amplifies genes and generates genotypic diversity. The resulting variation in the protein sequence is concentrated in surface domains, in regions spanning T-cell epitopes and B-cell epitopes and might allow immune escape.