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Leishmania donovani, a protozoan parasite of family Trypanosomatidae, causes fatal visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in the Indian subcontinent and Africa and cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Sri Lanka. Another member of Trypanosomatidae, Leptomonas seymouri, resembling Leishmania was discovered recently to co-exist with L. donovani in the clinical samples from India and Sri Lanka and therefore, interfere with its investigations. We earlier described a method for selective elimination of such co-existing L. seymouri from clinical samples of VL exploiting the differential growth of the parasites at 37 °C in vitro. Here, we explored ways for a rapid discriminatory diagnosis using high resolution melting (HRM) curves to detect co-occurring L. seymouri with L. donovani in clinical samples. Initial attempt with kDNA-minicircle (mitochondrial DNA) based HRM did not display different Tm values between L. donovani and L. seymouri. Surprisingly, all of their minicircle sequences co-existed in similar clades in the dendrogram analysis, although the kDNA sequences are known for its species and strain specific variations among the Trypanosomatids. However, an HRM analysis that targets the HSP70 gene successfully recognized the presence of L. seymouri in the clinical isolates. This discovery will facilitate rapid diagnosis of L. seymouri and further investigations in to this elusive organism, including the clinico-pathological implications of its co-existence with L. donovani in patients. Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Kavita Ahuja, Abhishek Vats, Mirza Adil Beg, K K G D U L Kariyawasam, Ashok Chaudhury, Mitali Chatterjee, Nadira D Karunaweera, Angamuthu Selvapandiyan. High resolution melting based method for rapid discriminatory diagnosis of co-infecting Leptomonas seymouri in Leishmania donovani-induced leishmaniasis. Parasitology international. 2020 Apr;75:102047

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PMID: 31887394

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