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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 95, No. 4, 2000, pp. 583-588
Bioline Code: oc00092
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 95, No. 4, 2000, pp. 583-588

 en Speculations on the Origin and Evolution of the Genus Leishmania
Hooman Momen & Elisa Cupolillo

Abstract

Recently two hypotheses have been proposed for the evolution of Leishmania involving respectively a Neotropical or Paleartic origin for the species. Here an alternative proposal on the phylogeny of Leishmania based on the major divisions within the genus is presented. In this hypothesis a Neotropic origin is retained for L. (Viannia) and Paraleishmania, a recently desribed section within the genus Leishmania, while an African origin is proposed for L. (Leishmania) and possibly Sauroleishmania. The current distribution of Leishmania in the Neotropics is explained as the product of multiple introductions of Leishmania parasites into the New World. Problems with organismal identity in Sauroleishmania and the use of molecular sequence data in inferring phylogenies are also discussed.

Keywords
Euleishmania, Paraleishmania, Leishmania evolution, biogeographical associations, phylogeny

 
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