ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0703.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Parasitology Keywords: Leishmania (Viannia); Leishmania RNA Virus 1; phylogeny; host-specificity; coevolution.
Online: 9 August 2023 (09:51:39 CEST)
A relevant aspect in the epidemiology of Tegumentary Leishmaniasis (TL) is the Leishmania parasites carrying a viral endosymbiont Leishmania RNA Virus 1 (LRV1), a dsRNA virus. Leishmania parasites carrying LRV1 are prone to causing more severe TL symptoms, increasing the likelihood of unfavorable clinical outcomes. LRV1 has been observed in cultured strains of five L. (Viannia) species, and host specificity was suggested when studying LRV1 from L. braziliensis and L. guyanensis strains. The coevolution hypothesis of LRV1 and Leishmania was based on phylogenetic analyses, implying an association between LRV1 genotypes, Leishmania species, and their geographic origins. This study aimed to investigate LRV1 specificity to Leishmania (Viannia) species hosts by analyzing LRV1 from L. (Viannia) species. To this end, LRV1 was screened in L. (Viannia) species other than L. braziliensis or L. guyanensis, and it was detected in 11 out of 15 L. naiffi and in 2 out of 4 L. shawi. Phylogenetic analyses based on partial LRV1 genomic sequencing supported the hypothesis of host specificity, as LRV1 clustered according to their respective Leishmania species hosts. These findings underscore the importance of investigating Leishmania and LRV1 coevolution and its impact on Leishmania (Viannia) species dispersion and pathogenesis in the American Continent.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0337.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: leishmania; visceral leishmaniasis; Americas; genome instability,; fitness gain
Online: 27 November 2019 (09:27:16 CET)
Pathogen fitness landscapes change when transmission cycles establish in non-native environments or spill over into new vectors and hosts. The introduction of Leishmania infantum in the Americas into the Neotropics during European colonization represents a unique case study to investigate mechanisms of ecological adaptation of this important parasite. Defining the evolutionary trajectories that drive L. infantum fitness in this new environment are of great public health importance as they will allow unique insight into pathways of host/pathogen co-evolution and their consequences for region-specific changes in disease manifestation. This review summarizes current knowledge on L. infantum genetic and phenotypic diversity in the Americas and its possible role in the unique epidemiology of VL in the New World. We highlight the importance of appreciating adaptive molecular mechanisms in L. infantum to understand the parasites’ successful establishment on the continent.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0145.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Parasitology Keywords: Leishmania; co-infections; mixed infections; co-culture; hybrid; intercellular communication
Online: 8 August 2022 (10:20:49 CEST)
Leishmania parasites present astonishing adaptative abilities that represent a matter of life or death within disparate environments during the heteroxenous parasite life cycle. From an evolutionary perspective, organisms develop methods of overcoming such challenges. Strategies that extend beyond the genetic diversity have been discussed and include variability between parasite cells during the infections of their hosts. The occurrence of Leishmania subpopulation fluctuations with variable structural genomic contents demonstrates that a single strain might shelter the variability required to overcome inconsistent environments. Such intrastrain variability provides parasites with an extraordinary ability to adapt and thus survive and propagate. However, different perspectives on this evolution have been proposed. Strains or species living in the same environment can cooperate but also compete. These interactions might increase the replication rate of some parasites but cause the loss of more aggressive competitors for others. Adaptive responses to intra- and interspecific competition can evolve as a fixed strategy (replication is adapted to the average genetic complexity of infections) or an optional strategy (replication varies according to the genetic complexity of the current infection). This review highlights the complexity of interspecies and intrastrain interactions among Leishmania parasites as well as the different factors that influence this interplay.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1692.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Parasitology Keywords: HRM; Leishmania; Americas; leishmaniasis; qPCR; parasite typing; HSP70; diagnosis.
Online: 24 August 2023 (09:48:48 CEST)
High Resolution Melting Analysis (HRM) has been pointed as a suitable alternative method to detect and identify Leishmania species. Herein, we aimed to evaluate the sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and limitations of a HSP70-HRM protocol both as a diagnostic scheme applied in clinical samples and as a species typing tool for laboratory research and reference services. Our data reveal the pronounced species-typing potential of the HSP70-HRM in DNA from cultured parasites. For clinical samples, however, we advise caution due to the parasite load-dependent accuracy. In the light of these findings and considering the importance of parasite load determination for clinical and research purposes we recommend the integration of the presented typing scheme and the previously published Leishmania quantifying approach as combined tools for clinicians, surveillance, and research.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Leishmania; Leishmania viruses; Phylogeny; Coevolution; endosymbiont protozoan viruses
Online: 18 January 2021 (15:00:54 CET)
The description of the genus Leishmania as causative agents of leishmaniasis occurred during this modern age. But evolutionary studies suggest that the origin of Leishmania can be traced back to the Mesozoic era. Subsequently, during its evolutionary process, it sustained a worldwide dispersion predating the breakup of the Gondwana supercontinent. It is assumed that this parasite evolved from monoxenic Trypanosomatidae. Phylogenetic studies locate the dixenous Leishmania in a well-supported clade, recently named subfamily Leishmaniinae, which includes also monoxenous trypanosomatids. Virus-Like Particles were reported in many species of this family. So far, several Leishmania species have been reported as infected by Leishmania RNA Virus (LRV) and Leishbunyavirus (LBV). Since the first descriptions of LRV decades ago, differences in its genomic structure have been highlighted, leading to the designation of a LRV1 in L. (Viannia) species and a LRV2 in other L. (Leishmania) species. There are strong indications of virus infecting Leishmania spp. ability to enhance parasitic survival both in human and experimental infections, through highly complex and specialized mechanisms. Phylogenetic analyzes of these viruses have shown that their genomic differences correlate with the infected parasite species, suggesting a coevolutionary process. Herein, we will present unpublished results regarding the relationship Leishmania – endosymbiotic Leishmania viruses and will explore what has been described in the literature, and what is known about this association that could contribute to discussions about the worldwide dispersion of Leishmania.