Publications by authors named "Evi Gouzelou"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Genome Dynamics during Environmental Adaptation Reveal Strain-Specific Differences in Gene Copy Number Variation, Karyotype Instability, and Telomeric Amplification.

mBio 2018 11 6;9(6). Epub 2018 Nov 6.

Unité de Parasitologiemoléculaire et Signalisation, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France

Protozoan parasites of the genus adapt to environmental change through chromosome and gene copy number variations. Only little is known about external or intrinsic factors that govern genomic adaptation. Here, by conducting longitudinal genome analyses of 10 new clinical isolates, we uncovered important differences in gene copy number among genetically highly related strains and revealed gain and loss of gene copies as potential drivers of long-term environmental adaptation in the field. In contrast, chromosome rather than gene amplification was associated with short-term environmental adaptation to culture. Karyotypic solutions were highly reproducible but unique for a given strain, suggesting that chromosome amplification is under positive selection and dependent on species- and strain-specific intrinsic factors. We revealed a progressive increase in read depth towards the chromosome ends for various isolates, which may represent a nonclassical mechanism of telomere maintenance that can preserve integrity of chromosome ends during selection for fast growth. Together our data draw a complex picture of genomic adaptation in the field and in culture, which is driven by a combination of intrinsic genetic factors that generate strain-specific phenotypic variations, which are under environmental selection and allow for fitness gain. Protozoan parasites of the genus cause severe human and veterinary diseases worldwide, termed leishmaniases. A hallmark of biology is its capacity to adapt to a variety of unpredictable fluctuations inside its human host, notably pharmacological interventions, thus, causing drug resistance. Here we investigated mechanisms of environmental adaptation using a comparative genomics approach by sequencing 10 new clinical isolates of the , , and complexes that were sampled across eight distinct geographical regions. Our data provide new evidence that parasites adapt to environmental change in the field and in culture through a combination of chromosome and gene amplification that likely causes phenotypic variation and drives parasite fitness gains in response to environmental constraints. This novel form of gene expression regulation through genomic change compensates for the absence of classical transcriptional control in these early-branching eukaryotes and opens new venues for biomarker discovery.
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November 2018

Genetic diversity and structure in Leishmania infantum populations from southeastern Europe revealed by microsatellite analysis.

Parasit Vectors 2013 Dec 5;6:342. Epub 2013 Dec 5.

Laboratory of Molecular Parasitology, Hellenic Pasteur Institute, 127 Vasilissis Sofias Avenus, 11521, Athens, Greece.

Background: The dynamic re-emergence of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in south Europe and the northward shift to Leishmania-free European countries are well-documented. However, the epidemiology of VL due to Leishmania infantum in southeastern (SE) Europe and the Balkans is inadequately examined. Herein, we aim to re-evaluate and compare the population structure of L. infantum in SE and southwestern (SW) Europe.

Methods: Leishmania strains collected from humans and canines in Turkey, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania and Croatia, were characterized by the K26-PCR assay and multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MLEE). Genetic diversity was assessed by multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT) and MLM Types were analyzed by model- and distance- based algorithms to infer the population structure of 128 L. infantum strains.

Results: L. infantum MON-1 was found predominant in SE Europe, whilst 16.8% of strains were MON-98. Distinct genetic populations revealed clear differentiation between SE and SW European strains. Interestingly, Cypriot canine isolates were genetically isolated and formed a monophyletic group, suggesting the constitution of a clonal MON-1 population circulating among dogs. In contrast, two highly heterogeneous populations enclosed all MON-1 and MON-98 strains from the other SE European countries. Structure sub-clustering, phylogenetic and Splitstree analysis also revealed two distinct Croatian subpopulations. A mosaic of evolutionary effects resulted in consecutive sub-structuring, which indicated substantial differentiation and gene flow among strains of both zymodemes.

Conclusions: This is the first population genetic study of L. infantum in SE Europe and the Balkans. Our findings demonstrate the differentiation between SE and SW European strains; revealing the partition of Croatian strains between these populations and the genetic isolation of Cypriot strains. This mirrors the geographic position of Croatia located in central Europe and the natural isolation of the island of Cyprus. We have analysed the largest number of MON-98 strains so far. Our results indicate extensive gene flow, recombination and no differentiation between MON-1 and MON-98 zymodemes. No correlation either to host specificity or place and year of strain isolation was identified. Our findings may be associated with intensive host migration and common eco-epidemiological characteristics in these countries and give valuable insight into the dynamics of VL.
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December 2013

Multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT) of strains from Turkey and Cyprus reveals a novel monophyletic L. donovani sensu lato group.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2012 14;6(2):e1507. Epub 2012 Feb 14.

Laboratory of Molecular Parasitology, Hellenic Pasteur Institute, Athens, Greece.

Background: New foci of human CL caused by strains of the Leishmania donovani (L. donovani) complex have been recently described in Cyprus and the Çukurova region in Turkey (L. infantum) situated 150 km north of Cyprus. Cypriot strains were typed by Multilocus Enzyme Electrophoresis (MLEE) using the Montpellier (MON) system as L. donovani zymodeme MON-37. However, multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT) has shown that this zymodeme is paraphyletic; composed of distantly related genetic subgroups of different geographical origin. Consequently the origin of the Cypriot strains remained enigmatic.

Methodology/principal Findings: The Cypriot strains were compared with a set of Turkish isolates obtained from a CL patient and sand fly vectors in south-east Turkey (Çukurova region; CUK strains) and from a VL patient in the south-west (Kuşadasi; EP59 strain). These Turkish strains were initially analyzed using the K26-PCR assay that discriminates MON-1 strains by their amplicon size. In line with previous DNA-based data, the strains were inferred to the L. donovani complex and characterized as non MON-1. For these strains MLEE typing revealed two novel zymodemes; L. donovani MON-309 (CUK strains) and MON-308 (EP59). A population genetic analysis of the Turkish isolates was performed using 14 hyper-variable microsatellite loci. The genotypic profiles of 68 previously analyzed L. donovani complex strains from major endemic regions were included for comparison. Population structures were inferred by combination of bayesian model-based and distance-based approaches. MLMT placed the Turkish and Cypriot strains in a subclade of a newly discovered, genetically distinct L. infantum monophyletic group, suggesting that the Cypriot strains may originate from Turkey.

Conclusion: The discovery of a genetically distinct L. infantum monophyletic group in the south-eastern Mediterranean stresses the importance of species genetic characterization towards better understanding, monitoring and controlling the spread of leishmaniasis in this region.
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June 2012

The paraphyletic composition of Leishmania donovani zymodeme MON-37 revealed by multilocus microsatellite typing.

Microbes Infect 2009 May-Jun;11(6-7):707-15. Epub 2009 Apr 17.

Institut für Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT) was employed to compare strains of Leishmania donovani belonging to the MON-37 zymodeme (MON-37 strains) from Cyprus and Israel to MON-37 strains from the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, China and East Africa as well as strains of other zymodemes. The MLMT data were processed with a distance-based method for construction of phylogenetic trees, factorial correspondence analysis and a Bayesian model-based clustering algorithm. All three approaches assigned the MON-37 strains to different distantly related genetically defined subgroups, corresponding to their geographical origin. Specifically, the Kenyan, Sri Lankan and Indian MON-37 strains were genetically closer to strains of other zymodemes from the same regions than to MON-37 strains from other areas. MON-37 strains from Cyprus and Israel were clearly different not only among themselves, but also compared to all the other MON-37 strains studied and could, therefore, be autochthonous. This study showed that the zymodeme MON-37 is paraphyletic and does not reflect the genetic relationship between strains of different geographical origin.
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August 2009