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.
Leishmania mexicana is the fourth Leishmania species to be sequenced at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and is representative of the fourth principle species complex that causes disease in man: in this case, cutaneous disease in the New World (Central and South America). It is known that there are significant differences in virulence factors between L. mexicana complex organisms and L. major parasites (that cause cutaneous disease in the Old World), while these species also give rise to different disease pathologies and elicit distinct host immune responses that mediate susceptibility or resistance to infection.
Further information can be found on the World Health Organization web site.
The L. mexicana genome is roughly 32 MBPs in size, with a karyotype of 34 chromosomes. The G+C content is approximately 59%. This project is in collaboration with Debbie Smith (University of York) and Jeremy Mottram (University of Glasgow). L. mexicana MHOM/GT/2001/U1103 (originally from Byron Arana's lab in Guatemala and obtained from Paul Bates at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine) was isolated from a 30 year old male patient with a single ear lesion.
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.
This sequencing centre plans on publishing the completed and annotated sequences in a peer-reviewed journal as soon as possible. Permission of the principal investigator should be obtained before publishing analyses of the sequence/open reading frames/genes on a chromosome or genome scale. For further information see our data release policy.
» Leishmania mexicana on GeneDB