Leishmania infantum

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Leishmania infantum
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
(unranked): Excavata
Phylum: Euglenozoa
Class: Kinetoplastida
Order: Trypanosomatida
Family: Trypanosomatidae
Genus: Leishmania
Species: L. infantum
Binomial name
Leishmania infantum
Nicolle, 1908
Cutaneous leishmaniasis in North Africa; Leishmania infantum infected areas are in green[1]

Leishmania infantum is the causative agent of infantile visceral leishmaniasis in the Mediterranean region [1] of the Old World and in Latin America, where it has been called Leishmania chagasi.[2][3] It is also an unusual cause of cutaneous leishmaniasis,[4] which is normally caused by specific lineages (or zymodemes). Wild canids and domestic dogs are the natural reservoir of this organism. Leishmania infantum is closely related to Leishmania donovani, and some authors believe that these two species are so close as to actually be subspecies of each other;[5] however, phylogenetic analyses can easily distinguish between the two groups, although analysis has shown that some isolates of Leishmania donovani have been classified as Leishmania infantum and that the former includes a number of different genetic groups.[6]

L. infantum is a model system for studies of DNA repair[edit]

Comparative bioinformatic analyses showed that the size of the L. infantum BRCA2 protein is approximately three-times smaller (125kD) than its human counterpart. Furthermore, analyses revealed that LiBRCA2 possesses key features of the BRCA2 family. The smaller size of the Leishmania BRCA2 DNA repair protein has been exploited to better understand its function in homologous recombination and its interaction with the LiRAD51 recombinase.[7]


  1. ^ a b Aoun, K.; Bouratbine, A. (2014). "Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in North Africa: a review". Parasite. 21: 14. doi:10.1051/parasite/2014014. PMC 3952656Freely accessible. PMID 24626301. 
  2. ^ Lukeš J, et al. (2007). "Evolutionary and geographical history of the Leishmania donovani complex with a revision of current taxonomy". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 104 (22): 9375–80. doi:10.1073/pnas.0703678104. PMC 1890502Freely accessible. PMID 17517634. 
  3. ^ Maurício IL, Stothard JR, Miles MA (May 2000). "The strange case of Leishmania chagasi". Parasitol. Today (Regul. Ed.). 16 (5): 188–9. doi:10.1016/S0169-4758(00)01637-9. PMID 10782075. 
  4. ^ BenSaid M, Guerbouj S, Saghrouni F, et al. (2006). "Occurrence of Leishmania infantum cutaneous leishmaniasis in central Tunisia". Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 100 (6): 521–26. doi:10.1016/j.trstmh.2005.08.012. PMID 16356518. 
  5. ^ Le Blancq SM, Peters W (1986). "Leishmania in the Old World: 4. The distribution of L. donovani sensu lato zymodemes". Trans. R. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. 80 (3): 367–77. doi:10.1016/0035-9203(86)90320-2. PMID 3798531. 
  6. ^ Kuhls K, Mauricio IL, Pratlong F, Presber W, Schönian G (2005). "Analysis of ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer sequences of the Leishmania donovani complex". Microbes Infect. 7 (11-12): 1224–34. doi:10.1016/j.micinf.2005.04.009. PMID 16002315. 
  7. ^ Genois MM, Mukherjee A, Ubeda JM, Buisson R, Paquet E, Roy G, Plourde M, Coulombe Y, Ouellette M, Masson JY (August 2012). "Interactions between BRCA2 and RAD51 for promoting homologous recombination in Leishmania infantum". Nucleic Acids Res. 40 (14): 6570–84. doi:10.1093/nar/gks306. PMC 3413117Freely accessible. PMID 22505581. 

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