Determination of Antimony Resistance Mechanism of Leishmania tropica Causing Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Turkey

Ozbilgin A., Zeyrek F. Y. , Guray M. Z. , Culha G., AKYAR I., Harman M., ...More

MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, vol.54, no.3, pp.444-462, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.5578/mb.69702
  • Title of Journal : MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI
  • Page Numbers: pp.444-462
  • Keywords: Leishmania tropica, resistance, Turkey, resistance genes, proteomics, GENE-EXPRESSION, CHAIN, OVEREXPRESSION


World Health Organization reported that approximately one billion people are at risk in endemic areas, one million cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) and approximately 300,000 cases of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) were reported per year in the last five years. The number of deaths due to VL is reported to be approximately 20,000 per year. Approximately 2500 cases/year have been reported as CL, caused by Leishmania tropica and Leishmania infantum, in Turkey. The significant increase observed in many cities mainly in the provinces of Mediterranean and Aegean regions in cases and foci in recent years, suggests that there may be an increase in this infections in the following years as well. In Turkey, the causative agent of CL is L.tropica and meglumine antimoniate is used in the treatment of CL. We aimed to determine antimony resistance genes specific for L.tropica by comparing the gene and protein expressions of antimony-resistant and non-resistant L.tropica strains. Ltropica isolates obtained from 3 CL patients without antimonate resistance from Aegean, Mediterranean and Southeastern regions of Turkey were provided to transform into 3 resistant isolates against meglumine antimony in the laboratory conditions. Gene expression alterations by microarray method; protein profiles by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) and relevant proteins by MALDI-TOF/TOF MS of these isolates were accomplished and compared. L.tropica isolates from 10 CL patients who did not respond to antimony therapy were analyzed for resistance to antimonial compounds and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed to detect the expression of genes responsible for resistance development. Moreover, differences in protein expression levels in isolates with and without antimony resistance were determined by comparing protein profiles and identification of proteins with different expression levels was carried out. Enolase, elongation factor-2, heat shock protein 70, tripanthione reductase, protein kinase C and metallo-peptidase proteins have been shown to play roles in L.tropica isolates developing resistance to antimonial compounds and similar expression changes have also been demonstrated in naturally resistant isolates from patients. In conclusion, it was revealed that L.tropica strains in our country may gain resistance to meglumine antimoniate in a short time. It is foreseen that if the patients living in our country or entering the country are treated inadequately and incompletely, there may be new, resistant leishmaniasis foci that may increase the number of resistant strains and cases rapidly.