The Leishmania parasite is an intracellular pathogen of the immune system targeting macrophages and dendritic cells. The disease Leishmaniasis affects the populations of 88 counties worldwide with symptoms ranging from disfiguring cutaneous and muco-cutaneous lesions that can cause widespread destruction of mucous membranes to visceral disease affecting the haemopoetic organs.
The species of the L. donovani complex are found in different geographical regions. L. donovani is the primary cause of visceral leishmaniasis in the Indian subcontinent and East Africa, L. infantum in the the Mediterranean region and L. chagasi in the New World. While the last two species are genetically identical, all three species are very similar. L. infantum was chosen as the second Leishmania species to sequence after L. major because it is part of the L. donovani complex and is an adaptable species for experimentation. For more information on visceral Leishmaniasis we recommend the WHO website ().
We have generated a whole genome shotgun, to ~5x coverage, of L. infantum clone JPCM5 (MCAN/ES/98/LLM-877). This was completed in October 2003. This project is a collaboration with Professor Debbie Smith (University of York) and Professor Jeremy Mottram (University of Glasgow).
GeneDB has been funded by Wellcome Trust to provide full curation support for kinetoplastida genomes to meet the needs of the community. New annotations are constantly being added to keep up with published manuscripts and feedback from the Trypanosomatid research community. In collaboration with GeneDB, the EuPathDB genomic sequence data and annotations are regularly deposited on TriTrypDB where they can be integrated with other datasets and queried using customized queries.
The genome is now published as part of a comparative genome analysis with L. major and L. braziliensis in Peacock et al, Nature Genetics, 39 839-847 and is available for use without restriction. However, the annotation is pro-actively updated and curated. If you find the this resource helpful in your research, acknowledging the project in your publications will help insure its longevity.