(syn. Leishmania chagasi
) is the etiological agent of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Brazil. The epidemiology of VL is poorly understood. Therefore, a more detailed molecular characterization at an intraspecific level is certainly needed. Herein, three independent molecular methods, multilocus microsatellite typing(MLMT), random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and simple sequence repeats-polymerase chain reaction(SSR-PCR), were used to evaluate the genetic diversity of 53 L. infantum
isolates from five different endemic areas in Brazil. Population structures were inferred by distance-based and Bayesian-based approaches. Eighteen very similar genotypes were detected by MLMT, most of them differed in only one locus and no correlation was found between
MLMT profiles, geographical origin or the estimated population structure. However, complex profiles composed of 182 bands obtained by both RAPD and SSR-PCR assays gave different results. Unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean trees built from these data revealed a high degree of homogeneity within isolates of L. infantum
. Interestingly, despite this genetic homogeneity, most of the isolates clustered according to their geographical origin.