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Reproductive strategies and population structure in Leishmania: substantial amount of sex in Leishmania Viannia guyanensis

Authors

  • VIRGINIE ROUGERON,

    1. Laboratoire MIVEGEC (UMR IRD 224-CNRS 5290-Université Montpellier 1) Montpellier, F-34394, France
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  • ANNE-LAURE BAÑULS,

    1. Laboratoire MIVEGEC (UMR IRD 224-CNRS 5290-Université Montpellier 1) Montpellier, F-34394, France
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  • BERNARD CARME,

    1. Laboratoire de Parasitologie – Mycologie, Centre Hospitalier de Cayenne, F-97306 Cayenne, Guyane, France
    2. EA 3593, Site Guyane de l’Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, F-97306 Cayenne, Guyane, France
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  • STÉPHANE SIMON,

    1. EA 3593, Site Guyane de l’Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, F-97306 Cayenne, Guyane, France
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  • PIERRE COUPPIÉ,

    1. EA 3593, Site Guyane de l’Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, F-97306 Cayenne, Guyane, France
    2. Service de Dermatologie, Centre Hospitalier de Cayenne, F-97306 Cayenne, Guyane, France
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  • MATHIEU NACHER,

    1. EA 3593, Site Guyane de l’Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, F-97306 Cayenne, Guyane, France
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  • MALLORIE HIDE,

    1. Laboratoire MIVEGEC (UMR IRD 224-CNRS 5290-Université Montpellier 1) Montpellier, F-34394, France
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  • THIERRY DE MEEÛS

    1. Laboratoire MIVEGEC (UMR IRD 224-CNRS 5290-Université Montpellier 1) Montpellier, F-34394, France
    2. UMR 177 IRD-CIRAD, Centre International de Recherche-Développement sur l’Elevage en zone Subhumide (CIRDES), No 559, rue 5.31, 01 BP 454, Bobo-Dioulasso 01, Burkina-Faso
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Virginie Rougeron, Fax: (33) 4 67 41 62 99; E-mail: rougeron.virginie@gmail.com

Abstract

Leishmania species of the subgenus Viannia and especially Leishmania Viannia guyanensis are responsible for a large proportion of New World leishmaniasis cases. Since a recent publication on Leishmania Viannia braziliensis, the debate on the mode of reproduction of Leishmania parasites has been reopened. A predominant endogamic reproductive mode (mating with relatives), together with strong Wahlund effects (sampling of strains from heterogeneous subpopulations), was indeed evidenced. To determine whether this hypothesis can be generalized to other Leishmania Viannia species, we performed a population genetic study on 153 human strains of L. (V.) guyanensis from French Guiana based on 12 microsatellite loci. The results revealed important homozygosity and very modest linkage disequilibrium, which is in agreement with a high level of sexual recombination and substantial endogamy. These results also revealed a significant isolation by distance with relatively small neighbourhoods and hence substantial viscosity of Leishmania populations in French Guiana. These results are of epidemiological relevance and suggest a major role for natural hosts and/or vectors in parasite strain diffusion across the country as compared to human hosts.

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