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Molecular identification of two newly identified human pathogens causing leishmaniasis using PCR-based methods on the 30 untranslated region of the heat shock protein 70 (Type i) gene

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Article numbere0009982
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/11/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number11
Number of pages16
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


PCR-based methods to amplify the 30 untranslated region (30-UTR) of the heat shock protein 70 (type I) gene (HSP70-I) have previously been used for typing of Leishmania but not with Leishmania (Mundinia) martiniquensis and L. (Mundinia) orientalis, newly identified human pathogens. Here, the 30-UTRs of HSP70-I of L. martiniquensis, L. orientalis, and 10 other species were sequenced and analyzed. PCR-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) analysis targeting the 30-UTR of HSP70-I was developed. Also, the detection limit of HSP70-I-30-UTR PCR methods was compared with two other commonly used targets: the 18S small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU-rRNA) gene and the internal transcribed spacer 1 region of the rRNA (ITS1-rRNA) gene. Results showed that HSP70-I-30-UTR PCR methods could be used to identify and differentiate between L. martiniquensis (480–2 bp) and L. orientalis (674 bp) and distinguished them from parasites of the subgenus Viannia and of the subgenus Leishmania. PCR-RFLP patterns of the 30-UTR of HSP70-I fragments digested with BsuRI restriction enzyme successfully differentiated L. martiniquensis, L. orientalis, L. braziliensis, L. guyanensis = L. panamensis, L. mexicana = L. aethiopica = L. tropica, L. amazonensis, L. major, and L. donovani = L. infantum. For the detection limit, the HSP70-I-30-UTR PCR method could detect the DNA of L. martiniquensis and L. orientalis at the same concentration, 1 pg/μL, at a similar level to the SSU-rRNA PCR. The PCR that amplified ITS1-rRNA was more sensitive (0.01 pg/μL) than that of the HSP70-I-30-UTR PCR. However, the sizes of both SSU-rRNA and ITS1-rRNA PCR amplicons could not differentiate between L. martiniquensis and L. orientalis. This is the first report of using HSP70-I-30-UTR PCR based methods to identify the parasites causing leishmaniasis in Thailand. Also, the BsuRI-PCR-RFLP method can be used for differentiating some species within other subgenera.