Characterization of a RNA virus from the parasite Leishmania

G. Widmer, A. M. Comeau, D. B. Furlong, D. F. Wirth, J. L. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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We were interested in screening a series of isolates of the protozoan Leishmania for the presence of viruses. The experimental procedure we used was based on an enzymatic assay originally developed for viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerases. Simultaneously, total promastigote nucleic acid preparations were analyzed for the presence of viral genome and/or transcripts. Two isolates, both classified as L. braziliensis guyanensis, were found to be positive for RNA polymerase activity and to carry a large (6 kilobases) RNA species. The polymerase reaction products hybridized to the 6-kilobase RNA, believed to be the viral genome. In conjunction with electron microscopical observations these results indicate the presence of an RNA virus in these Leishmania isolates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5979-5982
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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