Viruses of Leishmania have recently been identified and characterized. These viruses are consistently double-stranded RNA viruses of approximately 5 kb. They have not been shown to exist outside their protozoan host, persistently infecting these parasites. The laboratory of jean Patterson has been interested in characterizing and identifying virusese of protozoans in order to use them as molecular probes of the unique gene expression mechanisms of protozoan parasites.
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