1887

Abstract

Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), a neglected tropical disease, is reported to be prevalent in tribal villages located in the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve forests of Western Ghats, Kerala state, India. We carried out an investigation to characterize the species of parasites involved in these infections prevalent among one of the oldest human tribal populations in India. Skin aspirates collected from 13 clinically diagnosed cases were subjected to histopathological investigations, serological rapid tests using ‘rk39’ and molecular diagnostics. Clinical manifestations recorded among the patients were hypo-pigmented erythematous nodules/papules on limbs and other parts of the body. Histopathological investigations of these skin lesions among patients showed Leishman–Donovan bodies in macrophages. None of the patients were found to be positive for rk39 tests, which detect active visceral leishmaniasis. Using three different genetic markers [kinetoplast minicircle DNA, 3′ UTR region of heat-shock protein 70 (Hsp70) and Hsp70 gene] we identified the parasite species involved in these infections to be . The 6-phosphogluconate (6-PGDH) gene sequences of the parasite isolates from Western Ghats indicated close genetic relatedness to isolates reported from Sri Lanka, also causing CL. This could be cited as another instance of ‘local endemism’ of organisms in this single ‘bio-geographic unit’.

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2015-02-01
2019-10-16
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