Molecular Analysis of A2-genes Encoding Stage-specific S Antigen-like Proteins among Isolates from Iranian Cutaneous and Visceral Leishmaniasis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Parasitology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Parasitology, Institute of Public Health Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Leishmania can lead to a broad spectrum of diseases, collectively known as leishmaniasis. The A2 gene/ protein family could be one of the most eligible candidate factors of virulence in visceral leishmaniasis (VL). The previous results confirmed that in Leishmania infantum, several A2 proteins are abundantly expressed by the amastigote, but not the promastigote stage. As there are no data available on the pattern of A2 gene / protein in Iranian Leishmania isolates of either cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) or VL; the current study aimed to investigate molecular analysis of A2 gene in leishmania species among field isolates of Iran.
Materials and Methods
An A2 gene was identified by sequencing of crude PCR products resulting from 20 samples of CL and 10 samples of VL isolates from Iranian patients.
The results indicated the A2 gene in CL is only a single copy of 153 bp encoding a protein of 51 amino acids, as opposed to A2 of VL species with multi-copy genes of varying length. A2 sequences in Iranian L. major strains represented a homology with stage-specific S antigen-like protein (A2) of L. major and L. infantum. Moreover, A2 sequences in Iranian L. tropica strains have homology with A2 protein of L. major and L. tropica.
It is concluded that A2 is an antigen candidate for vaccine development and diagnosis purposes and that A2 sequences are conserved among field isolates.


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