Evolutionary history of Leishmania killicki (synonymous Leishmania tropica) and taxonomic implications

Abstract : BACKGROUND : The taxonomic status of Leishmania (L.) killicki, a parasite that causes chronic cutaneous leishmaniasis, is not well defined yet. Indeed, some researchers suggested that this taxon could be included in the L. tropica complex, whereas others considered it as a distinct phylogenetic complex. To try to solve this taxonomic issue we carried out a detailed study on the evolutionary history of L. killicki relative to L. tropica. METHODS : Thirty-five L. killicki and 25 L. tropica strains isolated from humans and originating from several countries were characterized using the MultiLocus Enzyme Electrophoresis (MLEE) and the MultiLocus Sequence Typing (MLST) approaches. RESULTS : The results of the genetic and phylogenetic analyses strongly support the hypothesis that L. killicki belongs to the L. tropica complex. Our data suggest that L. killicki emerged from a single founder event and that it evolved independently from L. tropica. However, they do not validate the hypothesis that L. killicki is a distinct complex. Therefore, we suggest naming this taxon L. killicki (synonymous L. tropica) until further epidemiological and phylogenetic studies justify the L. killicki denomination. CONCLUSIONS : This study provides taxonomic and phylogenetic information on L. killicki and improves our knowledge on the evolutionary history of this taxon.
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Dhekra Chaara, Christophe Ravel, Anne- Laure Bañuls, Najoua Haouas, Patrick Lami, et al.. Evolutionary history of Leishmania killicki (synonymous Leishmania tropica) and taxonomic implications. Parasites and Vectors, BioMed Central, 2015, 8 (1), pp.198. ⟨10.1186/s13071-015-0821-6⟩. ⟨hal-02006181⟩

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