Four New Species Added to BEI Resources Leishmania Collection

Leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by Leishmania parasites, which are transmitted to both humans and animals by female phlebotomine sandflies. Infections take several forms, with cutaneous leishmaniasis causing skin lesions in an estimated 700,000-to-1.2 million new cases per year, and the high mortality visceral leishmaniasis resulting in fevers, weight loss and enlargement of the spleen or liver.1

Leishmania is divided into two subgenera, Leishmania and Viannia, with more than 30 known species of Leishmania further classified as New World (Western hemisphere) and Old World (Eastern hemisphere) species. Pathogenic species of both subgenera have been grouped into complexes based on phylogenetic analyses determined through differences in the natural history of their vertebrate hosts, vector specificity, clinical manifestations, geographical distribution and, more recently, using molecular approaches with different genetic markers. 2,3

A recent deposit of Leishmania strains by Dr. K. P. Chang of Rosalind Franklin University has expanded the BEI Resources Leishmania collection by four new species, L. braziliensis, L.gerbilli, L. infantum and L. turanica. Strains have been sequenced for the nagt gene, allowing for inter- and/or intra-species discrimination.4 Please refer to the individual product documentation for more information on the nagt variant of each strain.

BEI Resources No.       Product Description
NR-50600 Leishmania turanica, Strain RHO/CN/99/KMA2
NR-50601 Leishmania gerbilli, Strain RHO/CN/62/20
NR-50603 Leishmania infantum, Strain HOM/TR/03/ADANA #7
NR-50608 Leishmania braziliensis, Strain HOM/BR/75/M2903



  1. “Leishmaniasis.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
  2. Schönian, G., et al. “Molecular Epidemiology and Population Genetics in Leishmania.” Med. Microbiol. Immunol. 190 (2001): 61-63. PubMed:  11770112.
  3. Marcili, A., et al. “Phylogenetic Relationships of Leishmania Species Based on Trypanosomatid Barcode (SSU rDNA) and gGAPDH Genes: Taxonomic Revision of Leishmania (L.) infantum chagasi in South America.” Infect Genet Evol. 25 (2014): 44-51. PubMed:  24747606.
  4. Waki, K., et al. “Transmembrane Molecules for Phylogenetic Analyses of Pathogenic Protists: Leishmania-Specific Informative Sites in Hydrophilic Loops of Trans-Endoplasmic Reticulum N-Acetylglucosamine-1-Phosphate Transferase.” Eukaryot. Cell 6 (2007): 198-210. PubMed:  17142569.

Image:  TEM image of Leishmania braziliensis (CDC/Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Luciana Flannery)

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