Parasitology Research

, Volume 107, Issue 5, pp 1049–1065 | Cite as

Species discrimination and phylogenetic inference of 17 Chinese Leishmania isolates based on internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) sequences

  • Bin-Bin Yang
  • Xian-Guang Guo
  • Xiao-Su Hu
  • Jian-Guo Zhang
  • Lin Liao
  • Da-Li ChenEmail author
  • Jian-Ping ChenEmail author
Original Paper


Leishmaniasis is a geographically widespread disease, caused by protozoan flagellates of the genus Leishmania. This disease still remains endemic in China, especially in the west and northwest frontier regions. To date, the phylogenetic relationships among Chinese Leishmania isolates are still unclear, and the possible taxonomic diversity remains to be established. In this study, the ITS1–5.8S fragments of ten isolates collected from different foci in China were determined. To infer the phylogenetic relationships among them, seven sequences of Chinese Leishmania isolates retrieved from GenBank were also included. Both parsimony and Bayesian analyses reveal an unexpected but strongly supported clade comprising eight newly determined isolates, which is sister to other members of subgenus Leishmania. In combination with genetic distance analysis, this provides evidence of the occurrence of an undescribed species of Leishmania. Our results also suggest that (1) the isolate IPHL/CN/77/XJ771 from Bachu County, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is not Leishmania infantum but Leishmania donovani; (2) the status referring to an isolate MRHO/CN/88/KXG-2 from a great gerbil in Karamay as Leishmania turanica, formerly based on multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, is recognized; (3) an earlier finding demonstrating the L. donovani identity of isolate MHOM/CN/80/801 from Kashi city is corroborated; (4) the three isolates from eastern Jiashi County, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, causing desert type of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (see Wang et al., Parasitol Int (in press), 2010), belong to L. donovani instead of L. infantum. In addition, the results of this study make an important contribution to understanding the heterogeneity and relationships of Chinese Leishmania isolates, further indicating that the isolates from China may have had a more complex evolutionary history than expected.


Maximum Parsimony Visceral Leishmaniasis Leishmaniasis Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Leishmania Species 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundations of China (30771883, 30800094) and the National Project of Important Infectious Diseases (2008-ZX10004-011). X-G Guo was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30700062). We thank Dianmei Lu and Zhibiao Xu for kinkly help with collecting some important references.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bin-Bin Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xian-Guang Guo
    • 3
  • Xiao-Su Hu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jian-Guo Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lin Liao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Da-Li Chen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jian-Ping Chen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Parasitology, West China School of Preclinical and Forensic MedicineSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.Animal Disease Prevention and Food Safety Key Laboratory of Sichuan ProvinceSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  3. 3.Chengdu Institute of BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina

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