Metastatic capability of Leishmani (Viannia) panamensis and Leishmania (Viannia) guyanensis in golden hamsters

J. E. Martinez, B. L. Travi, A. Z. Valencia, N. G. Saravia

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35 Scopus citations


The pattern and kinetics of internal dissemination and frequency of cutaneous metastatic lesions resulting from experimental infection of golden hamsters with Leishmania (Viannia) panamensis and Leishmania (Viannia) guyanensis were examined. Nineteen strains were evaluated: 16 L. (V.) panamensis isolated from patients and 3 L. (V.) guyanensis, 2 isolated from human cases and 1 WHO reference strain originating from a sandfly vector. Lymphatic dissemination occurred within 3 mo and was observed for 16 of 16 (100%) of L. (V.) panamensis and 3 of 3 (100%) of L. (V.) guyanensis. Parasites were cultured infrequently from liver and spleen: 3 of 125 (2%) L. (V.) panamensis and 1 of 22 (5%) L. (V.) guyanensis. Decreased frequency of isolation from the inoculation site and draining lymph nodes over time was accompanied by increased frequency of isolation from distant lymph nodes. Dilution of triturated tissue samples resulted in an increased efficiency of parasite culture. Both primary lesions and secondary cutaneous metastatic lesions were more severe in hamsters infected with L. (V.) guyanensis than with L. (V.) panamensis. Cutaneous metastatic lesions were produced more frequently by L. (V.) guyanensis, 24 of 46 hamsters (52%), than by L. (V.) panamensis, 28 of 252 hamsters (11%). Individual Leishmania strains displayed distinctive propensities to produce cutaneous metastases, manifested as a reproducible phenotype. Metastatic pathogenicity was independent of the inoculum dose, supporting the dissociation of infectivity and pathogenicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)762-768
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Parasitology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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