The double stranded RNA (dsRNA) virus Leishmaniavirus (Totiviridae) was first described in Leishmania guyanensis and L. braziliensis (LRV1), and more recently from L. major and L. aethiopica (LRV2). Parasites bearing LRV1 elicit a higher pro-inflammatory profile, arising through activation of Toll like receptor 3(TLR3) interacting with the viral dsRNA. LRV1 is most common in Leishmania from the Amazon region; however data for other regions of Brazil are more limited. Here we applied PCR tests with validated 'universal' LRV1 primers to search for LRV1 in 40 strains of cultured L. braziliensis from several locales within Minas Gerais State, including patients presenting with atypical lesion pathology. All strains were negative however. These data are in agreement with results from other areas of Southeastern Brazil that LRV1 is relatively uncommon.
Keywords: American cutaneous leishmaniasis; Leishmania braziliensis; Totiviridae.
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