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Leishmania mexicana in Proechimys iheringi denigratus Moojen (Rodentia, Echimyidae) in a region endemic for American cutaneous leishmaniasis

Three isolates of Leishmania were recovered from five of 27 specimens of the rodent Proechimys iheringi denigratus Moojen captured near Três Braços in the Atlantic Forest region of Bahia, Brazil. Two of these isolates were recovered from hamsters inoculated with a pooled triturate of liver, spleen and skin tissue from apparently healthy P. i. denigratus. The third isolate was recovered from a triturate of only skin tissue from another. Metastasis was observed in the inoculated hamsters, the parasites grew abundantly in artificial media and a typical suprapylarial pattern of infection in Lutzomyia longipalpis was produced indicating that the parasites belong to the Leishmania mexicana complex. All isolates reacted with Leishmania mexicana mexicana and Leishmania mexicana amazonensis monoclonal antibodies. The isoenzyme analysis differentiated these isolates from standard isolates of L. m. mexicana, L. m. amazonensis, L. m. aristedesi, L. m. pifanoi, L. m. garnhami and L. m. ssp.(Goiás-W. Barbosa). These isolates seem to be a subspecies of L. mexicana very closely related to L. m. amazonensis from which they differ by decreased electrophoretic mobility of GPI, PEP and ALAT. This is the first record of the isolation of a parasite of thegenus Leishmania in a rodent captured in the State of Bahia.

Leishmania mexicana ssp; Natural reservoir; Field study; Bahia, Brazil

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