Leishmaniasis in Portugal: enzyme polymorphism of Leishmania infantum based on the identification of 213 strains

Trop Med Int Health. 2006 Nov;11(11):1708-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2006.01728.x.


This study reports isoenzyme polymorphism of Leishmania strains isolated in different regions of Portugal between 1982 and 2005. A total of 213 strains were obtained from cases of visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis isolated from immunocompetent patients (adults and children) and immunocompromised adults, as well as from dogs and sandflies. Four zymodemes were identified: MON-1, MON-24, MON-29 and MON-80. Zymodeme MON-1 was identified in 96.7% of the strains, predominating in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised human patients, and it was the only zymodeme isolated from dogs. Isoenzyme diversity in HIV-infected patients was higher than in the immunocompetent group, in which all the strains from visceral leishmaniasis were MON-1. The domestic dog was confirmed as the reservoir host of zoonotic leishmaniasis in Portugal and Phlebotomus perniciosus and Phlebotomus ariasi as vectors. The overall low enzyme polymorphism observed in the Portuguese foci contrasts with the neighbouring foci in Spain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Dog Diseases / enzymology
  • Dog Diseases / genetics
  • Dogs
  • HIV Infections / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors / parasitology
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Leishmania infantum / enzymology
  • Leishmania infantum / genetics*
  • Leishmaniasis / enzymology
  • Leishmaniasis / genetics*
  • Leishmaniasis / veterinary
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / enzymology
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / genetics
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / veterinary
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / enzymology
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / genetics
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / veterinary
  • Phlebotomus
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Portugal
  • Zoonoses


  • Isoenzymes