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Genomic analysis of Leishmaniinae parasites isolated from human visceral Leishmaniasis

Grant number: 21/10358-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2021
Effective date (End): September 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Protozoology of Parasites
Principal researcher:Sandra Regina Costa Maruyama
Grantee:Caroline Torres
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/20258-0 - Visceral leishmaniasis: genomics approaches for integrated molecular analysis of host and parasite, AP.JP

Abstract

Leishmaniasis is a group of zoonotic diseases caused by a large variety of protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Leishmania. It is considered a neglected disease, its transmission enabled by the activity of infected female sandfly vectors through their bite. Leishmaniasis can be manifested in different forms with visceral leishmaniasis (VL), caused in Brazil by the L. infantum, being the most severe one and lethal if untreated. Besides being a concern for public health in multiple regions in the world, leishmaniasis is especially important within Brazil, which is considered endemic for the disease. Recent studies have employed clinical isolates from patients diagnosed with VL in Sergipe and have identified parasites belonging to another genus rather than Leishmania in many cases. Such parasites are closely related to Crithidia fasciculata, a monoxenous trypanosomatid that only infects insects and has no pathogenicity to humans. Given the need to investigate these clinical isolates, it is urgent that research approaches be opened up to elucidate the role of this emerging parasite in the VL landscape. One of such approaches is through Parasite Genomics. Therefore, this study aims to perform a genomic analysis of Leishmania and Crithidia-like clinical isolates obtained from patients diagnosed with VL in a hospital at Sergipe, Aracaju. Whole-Genome Sequencing of these samples were per-formed in Illumina platform and will be analyzed through bioinformatic pipelines in Parasite Genomics and Compara-tive Genomics. Thus, we will contribute to the genomic characterization of these parasites, providing significant data regarding the biology of unknown trypanosomatids, such as Crithidia-like parasites, which will be important for the understanding of such infections in humans and the clinical implications to the development of visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil.(AU)

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