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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060


GUIMARAES, Agna Cristina et al. Lower galactosylation levels of the Lipophosphoglycan from Leishmania (Leishmania) major-like strains affect interaction with Phlebotomus papatasi and Lutzomyia longipalpis. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2018, vol.113, n.5, e170333.  Epub Feb 19, 2018. ISSN 0074-0276.


Leishmania major is an Old World species causing cutaneous leishmaniasis and is transmitted by Phlebotomus papatasi and Phlebotomus duboscqi. In Brazil, two isolates from patients who never left the country were characterised as L. major-like (BH49 and BH121). Using molecular techniques, these isolates were indistinguishable from the L. major reference strain (FV1).


We evaluated the lipophosphoglycans (LPGs) of the strains and their behaviour in Old and New World sand fly vectors.


LPGs were purified, and repeat units were qualitatively evaluated by immunoblotting. Experimental in vivo infection with L. major-like strains was performed in Lutzomyia longipalpis (New World, permissive vector) and Ph. papatasi (Old World, restrictive or specific vector).


The LPGs of both strains were devoid of arabinosylated side chains, whereas the LPG of strain BH49 was more galactosylated than that of strain BH121. All strains with different levels of galactosylation in their LPGs were able to infect both vectors, exhibiting colonisation of the stomodeal valve and metacyclogenesis. The BH121 strain (less galactosylated) exhibited lower infection intensity compared to BH49 and FV1 in both vectors.


Intraspecific variation in the LPG of L. major-like strains occur, and the different galactosylation levels affected interactions with the invertebrate host.

Keywords : Leishmania major; like; lipophosphoglycan; host-parasite interaction; Phlebotomus papatasi; Lutzomyia longipalpis.

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