Locatelli FM

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American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) is a group of zoonotic diseases caused by kinetoplastid flagellates of the genus Leishmania. A total of 66 patients diagnosed as positive ATL cases from northwest Argentina were included in this study. Leishmania stocks were isolated in vitro and analyzed over promastigote cultures sown on FTA through nested PCR and sequence of cytochrome b (cyt b). The molecular analysis resulted in the incrimination of L. (Viannia) braziliensis as the predominant species in the studied area, identifying two genotypes of L. (V.) braziliensis, 24 cases of Ab-1 cyt b and 41 cases of Ab-2 cyt b. One L. (V.) guyanensis strain was obtained from a traveler from the Brazilian Amazon. The prevalence of different genotypes was in agreement with previous studies, suggesting the necessity for new systems to study the genetic diversity in more detail. Most of the cases typified in this study were registered in the area of Zenta Valley (Orán, Hipólito Yrigoyen, and Pichanal cities), pointing a link between genotype and geographical origin of the sample. Sex and age distribution of the patients indicate that the transmission was predominantly associated with rural areas or rural activities, although the results might not exclude the possibility of peri-urban transmission. This work represents, so far, the largest isolation and molecular characterization of ATL cases in Argentina.