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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Experimental studies on the evolution of antimony-resistant phenotype during the in vitro life cycle of Leishmania infantum: implications for the spread of chemoresistance in endemic areas.

Pentavalent antimonial unresponsiveness is an emerging problem in endemic areas and information on factors which could modulate the transmission of drug-resistant phenotypes and parasites during life cycle are warranted. Using axenic amastigotes resistant to potassium antimonyl tartrate (Sb(III)) we investigated the modulation of antimonyl resistance during the in vitro life cycle. We assessed: (i) the stability of the drug-resistant phenotype during the in vitro life cycle; (ii) the transmission of drug-resistant clones when mixed with a wild-type clone at different susceptible/chemoresistant ratios (50/50,90/10,10/90) after one or two in vitro life cycles. We demonstrate that: (i) mutants which were 12,28,35 and 44 fold more resistant to Sb(III)-antimonial than their parental wild-type, were Glucantime Sb(V)-resistant when growing in THP-1 cells; (ii) the drug-resistant phenotype was partially retained during long-term in vitro culture (3 months) in drug free medium; (iii) the antimonyl-resistant phenotype was retained after one or more in vitro life cycles. However, when drug-resistant parasites were mixed with susceptible, mutants could not be detected in the resulting population, after one or two in vitro life cycles, whatever the initial wild-type/chemoresistant ratio. These results could be explained by the lower capacity of drug-resistant amastigotes to undergo the amastigote-promastigote differentiation process, leading probably to their sequential elimination during life cycle. Taken together, these observations demonstrate that different factors could modulate the transmission of Leishmania drug resistance during the parasite's life cycle.[1]


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