Distinct leishmania infantum strains circulate in humans and dogs in the Emilia-Romagna region, northeastern Italy

Gianluca Rugna, Elena Carra, Francesco Corpus, Mattia Calzolari, Daniela Salvatore, Romeo Bellini, Antonietta Di Francesco, Erica Franceschini, Antonella Bruno, Giovanni Poglayen, Stefania Varani, Fabrizio Vitale, Giuseppe Merialdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Human leishmaniasis is an emerging problem in Italy and is on the increase in the Emilia-Romagna region, northeastern part of the country. Nevertheless, studies dealing with the molecular characterization of Leishmania spp. circulating in these areas are limited. In the present work, we explored the genetic polymorphism of Leishmania isolates from 28 cases of canine leishmaniasis and three cases of human visceral leishmaniasis (VL), which occurred in 2013-2014 in the Emilia-Romagna region. The characterization was carried out in comparison with nine human isolates of Leishmania from other VL endemic Italian regions and two reference strains. Nucleic acid from 31 Leishmania-positive phlebotomine sandfly pools, sampled in 2012-2013 in the Emilia-Romagna region, were also evaluated. DNA amplification and sequencing of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer-1 and of a repetitive nuclear region on chromosome 31 were carried out for genotyping. Two size polymorphic targets were also analyzed by PCR, the cpb E/F-gene and the k26-gene. Altogether, the analysis showed the circulation of different Leishmania infantum genotypes in the Emilia-Romagna region: two genotypes found in dogs from public kennels were similar to VL isolates from other Italian regions, whereas a third genotype was detected in VL cases of the Emilia-Romagna region and in all but one of the sandfly pools. The combined molecular tools applied in this study can constitute a helpful support for parasite tracking (e.g., in outbreak investigations) and for a better understanding of the epidemiological evolution of leishmaniasis in northeastern Italy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-415
Number of pages7
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017

Keywords

  • dogs
  • genetic polymorphism
  • humans
  • Leishmania
  • northeastern Italy
  • sandflies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Distinct leishmania infantum strains circulate in humans and dogs in the Emilia-Romagna region, northeastern Italy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Rugna, G., Carra, E., Corpus, F., Calzolari, M., Salvatore, D., Bellini, R., Di Francesco, A., Franceschini, E., Bruno, A., Poglayen, G., Varani, S., Vitale, F., & Merialdi, G. (2017). Distinct leishmania infantum strains circulate in humans and dogs in the Emilia-Romagna region, northeastern Italy. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 17(6), 409-415. https://doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2016.2052