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What pre-Columbian mummies could teach us about South American leishmaniases?

Abstract : A recent report on the taxonomic profile of the human gut microbiome in pre-Columbian mummies (Santiago-Rodriguez et al. 2016) gives for the first time evidence of the presence of Leishmania DNA (sequences similar to Leishmania donovani according to the authors) that can be reminiscent of visceral leishmaniasis during the pre-Columbian era. It is commonly assumed that Leishmania infantum, the etiological agent of American visceral leishmaniasis (AVL) was introduced into the New World by the Iberian conquest. This finding is really surprising and must be put into perspective with what is known from an AVL epidemiological and historical point of view. Beside L. infantum, there are other species that are occasionally reported to cause AVL in the New World. Among these, L. colombiensis is present in the region of pre-Columbian mummies studied. Other explanations for these findings include a more ancient introduction of a visceral species of Leishmania from the Old World or the existence of a yet unidentified endemic species causing visceral leishmaniasis in South America. Unfortunately, very few molecular data are known about this very long pre-Columbian period concerning the circulating species of Leishmania and their diversity in America.
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Soumis le : lundi 11 février 2019 - 15:42:50
Dernière modification le : vendredi 6 novembre 2020 - 12:33:09

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Denis Sereno, Mohammad Akhoundi, Franck Dorkeld, Bruno Oury, Hooman Momen, et al.. What pre-Columbian mummies could teach us about South American leishmaniases?. Pathogens and Disease, Oxford University Press, 2017, 75 (3), ⟨10.1093/femspd/ftx019⟩. ⟨hal-02014396⟩



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