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PAGES: DOI: 10.1590/0074-02760170333 Full paper
Lower galactosylation levels of the Lipophosphoglycan from Leishmania (Leishmania) major-like strains affect interaction with Phlebotomus papatasi and Lutzomyia longipalpis

Agna Cristina Guimarães1, Paula Monalisa Nogueira2, Soraia de Oliveira Silva1, Jovana Sadlova3, Katerina Pruzinova3, Jana Hlavacova3, Maria Norma Melo1, Rodrigo Pedro Soares2,+

1Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Departamento de Parasitologia, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil
2Fundação Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz, Instituto René Rachou, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil
3Charles University, Faculty of Science, Department of Parasitology, Prague, Czech Republic


BACKGROUND 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).

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

METHODS 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).

FINDINGS 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.

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

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Financial support: CNPq, FAPEMIG.
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Received 16 August 2017
Accepted 17 January 2018