Endotrypanum spp. is a hemoflagellate protozoan parasite (Order Kinetoplastida, Family Trypanosomatidae) presenting a dixenous life cycle, alternating between insect vectors such as phlebotomines and the mammalian hosts. Endotrypanum is the only trypanosomatid that infects mammalian erythrocytes, such as those from sloths from the genera Choloepus and Bradypus. Endotrypanum schaudinni presents widesread geographic distribution in the Americas, from Costa Rica to the North, to the Amazonian Basin to the South. Endotrypanum has been a controversial taxon, specially due to its life cycle not being completely known two cellular forms have been identified (epimastigote and trypomastigote), which are found in the erythrocytes of naturally infected sloths. Molecular phylogeny studies have demonstrated that Endotrypanum is relatively closely related to the Leishmania group known as Paraleishmania, which comprises the so-called 'enigmatic leishmanias', which were so designated due to being more closely related to Endotrypanum than to other Leishmania. This project aims at characterizing the genome of E. schaudinni TCC224 and comparing it to those of other trypanosomatids and kinetoplastids through the use of bioinformatic techniques. The parasite's genome has been previously sequenced and assembled by our group and its collaborators, and it will be annotated and subjected to comparative analyses in this work. By comparison with related species of medical interest such as Leishmania spp., the bioinformatic techniques employed here will lead to better knowledge of the E. schaudinni genome, providing the literature with new molecular, metabolic, and evolutionary data, and allowing the formulation of new hypotheses about the evolution of genomes and parasitism in the family Trypanosomatidae.
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