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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2009, Article ID 897364, 9 pages
Research Article

Genetic Variability and Phylogenetic Relationships within Trypanosoma cruzi I Isolated in Colombia Based on Miniexon Gene Sequences

1Centro de Investigaciones en Microbiología y Parasitología Tropical (CIMPAT), Universidad de los Andes, A.A. 4976. Carrera 1a. No. 18-A-10, Bogotá, Colombia
2Grupo de Parasitología, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Avenida calle 26 No. 51-20 - Zona 6 CAN., Bogotá, Colombia
3Laboratorio de Investigaciones en Parasitología Tropical, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad del Tolima, Ibagué, Colombia. B. Santa Helena A.A. 546, Ibagué, Colombia
4Departamento de Biología Celular y Parasitología, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Valencia, 46100 Burjasot, Valencia, Spain

Received 13 May 2009; Revised 16 September 2009; Accepted 2 November 2009

Academic Editor: Ana M. Jansen

Copyright © 2009 Claudia Herrera et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Phylogenetic studies of Trypanosoma cruzi have identified the existence of two groups: T. cruzi I and T. cruzi II. There are aspects that still remain unknown about the genetic variability within the T. cruzi I group. Given its epidemiological importance, it is necessary to have a better understanding of T. cruzi transmission cycles. Our purpose was to corroborate the existence of haplotypes within the T. cruzi I group and to describe the genetic variability and phylogenetic relationships, based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) found in the miniexon gene intergenic region, for the isolates from different hosts and epidemiological transmission cycles in Colombian regions. 31 T. cruzi isolates were molecularly characterized. Phylogenetic relationships within T. cruzi I isolates showed four haplotype groups (Ia–Id), associated with their transmission cycle. In previous studies, we reported that haplotype Ia is mainly associated with the domestic cycle and domiciliated Rhodnius prolixus. Haplotype Ib is associated with the domestic cycle and peridomestic cycle, haplotype Ic is closely related with the peridomestic cycle, and haplotype Id is strongly associated with the sylvatic cycle. The phylogenetic methodologies applied in this study are tools that bolster the associations among isolates and thus shed light on Chagas disease epidemiology.