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High correlation between isozyme classification and kinetoplast DNA variability in Trypanosoma cruzi

  • Author(s): Tibayrenc, M
  • Ayala, FJ
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License

By means of 14 restriction enzymes, we have studied the kinetoplast DNA polymorphism in 21 Trypanosoma cruzi isolates previously classified into 19 different genotypes based on the analysis of 15 isoenzyme loci. We have found a high correlation (p<0.001) between the proportion of restriction bands (fragments) common to any two given isolates and the corresponding genetic identities calculated from the isoenzyme data. This shows that the two classifications (kDNA and isoenzymes) corroborate one another and strongly suggests that the two types of variability are correlated with time (molecular clocks). The phylogenic classifications so obtained can be used as rational bases for medical and epidemiological studies. Although they are correlated, the two types of analysis are complementary as they do not yield identical results. Like the isoenzyme genetic distances and genetic identities, the values obtained for the proportion of common restriction bands (fragments) exhibit a continuum. This seems to confirm that natural T. cruzi populations exhibit a wide range of genotypes rather than a few well-differentiated clusters of strains.

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