Sequence analysis of Leishmania (Viannia) kDNA
minicircles and analysis of multiple sequence alignments of the
conserved region (minirepeats) of five distinct minicircles from
L. (V.) braziliensis species with corresponding sequences
derived from other dermotropic leishmanias indicated the
presence of a sub-genus specific sequence. An oligonucleotide
bearing this sequence was designed and used as a molecular probe,
being able to recognize solely the sub-genus Viannia
species in hybridization experiments. A dendrogram reflecting
the homologies among the minirepeat sequences was constructed.
Sequence clustering was obtained corresponding to the traditional
classification based on similarity of biochemical, biological and
parasitological characteristics of these Leishmania
species, distinguishing the Old World dermotropic leishmanias,
the New World dermotropic leishmanias of the sub-genus
Leishmania and of the sub-genus Viannia.