Visceral leishmaniasis is one of the most important vector-borne zoonosis in Southern Europe and lacks reliable, rapid, simple and sensitive typing methods. The current reference typing method, allozyme electrophoresis, is demanding and has low-resolution power for genetic diversity and species taxonomy. We propose to develop new alternative molecular typing methods, based on clade-specific markers determined through DNA-based phylogenetic reconstructions. Phylogenies will be built from DNA sequences of genomic loci exhibiting a range of genetic variation from conserved to highly variable (microsatellites), and will be compared with allozyme-based phylogenies. Molecular typing procedures will be designed to fill the above-mentioned typing requirements. Applicability of the new markers will be evaluated for clinical typing of endemic and imported human and canine infections and for pilot studies of sympatric and allopatric populations, therefore addressing fundamental epidemiological and clinical questions. An electronic database for Leishmania typing data and strain information will be generated, and will be available through the Internet.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
370 05 Ceske Budejovice
2000 Anvers /Antwerpen