Chagas

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Infection, Genetics and Evolution 12 (2012) 240–253

Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect

Infection, Genetics and Evolution
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/meegid

Review

The revised Trypanosoma cruzi subspecific nomenclature: Rationale,
epidemiological relevance and research applications
Bianca Zingales a,⇑, Michael A. Miles b, David A. Campbell c, MichelTibayrenc d, Andrea M. Macedo e,
Marta M.G. Teixeira f, Alejandro G. Schijman g, Martin S. Llewellyn b, Eliane Lages-Silva h,
Carlos R. Machado e, Sonia G. Andrade i, Nancy R. Sturm c
a

Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, Avenida Professor Lineu Prestes 748, 05508-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, KeppelStreet, London WC1E 7HT, UK
c
Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, 10833 Le Conte Ave, Los Angeles,
CA 90095-7065, USA
d
Maladies Infectieuses et Vecteurs Ecologie, Génétique, Evolution et Contrôle, MIVEGEC/IDVEGEC, UM1-CNRS 5290-IRD 224, IRD Center, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
eDepartamento de Bioquímica e Imunologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, CP 486, 30161-970 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
f
Departamento de Parasitologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Avenida Professor Lineu Prestes 1374, 05508-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
g
Laboratorio de Biología Molecular de la Enfermedad de Chagas, INGEBI-CONICET, VueltoObligado 2490, Buenos Aires 1428, Argentina
h
Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro, Rua Frei Paulino 30, Uberaba, MG, Brazil
i
Centro de Pesquisas Gonçalo Moniz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rua Waldemar Falcão 121, 40295-001 Salvador, Brazil
b

article

info

Article history:
Received 31 October 2011
Accepted 16 December 2011
Available online 27December 2011
Keywords:
Trypanosoma cruzi strains
Discrete typing unit
Genotyping
Phylogeography
Hybridization
Pathology

abstract
The protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, its mammalian reservoirs, and vectors have existed in nature for millions of years. The human infection, named Chagas disease, is a major public health problem for Latin
America. T. cruzi is genetically highly diverse and theunderstanding of the population structure of this
parasite is critical because of the links to transmission cycles and disease. At present, T. cruzi is partitioned into six discrete typing units (DTUs), TcI–TcVI. Here we focus on the current status of taxonomy-related areas such as population structure, phylogeographical and eco-epidemiological features,
and the correlation of DTU with naturaland experimental infection. We also summarize methods for
DTU genotyping, available for widespread use in endemic areas. For the immediate future multilocus
sequence typing is likely to be the gold standard for population studies. We conclude that greater
advances in our knowledge on pathogenic and epidemiological features of these parasites are expected
in the coming decade through thecomparative analysis of the genomes from isolates of various DTUs.
Ó 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Contents
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2.

3.
4.

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The concept of discrete typing unit . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.1.
The clonal model of evolution in T. cruzi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.2.
Discrete typing units...
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