Objectives: This literature review aims to summarize the current knowledge regarding the genome plasticity observed within the genome of the Leishmania parasite, and to discuss how genome plasticity contributes to the adaptation of the parasite and to development of a drug resistant state.
Materials and Methods: The search terms “Leishmania” and “genome plasticity”, were used to search the PubMed database for relevant papers, published between the years 2000 and 2020.
Results: Aneuploidy within the Leishmania genome allows for drug resistance and adaptation to the environment. In addition copy number variation promotes the up regulation of genes conferring drug resistant capabilities to the parasite.
Conclusion: Drug-resistant Leishmania mutants display differential patterns of chromosomal somy when compared to wild-type strains. Highlighting a role for mosaic aneuploidy in the development of drug resistance. Leishmania parasites in the amastigote life cycle stage display differential gene copy numbers compared to parasites in the promastigote life cycle stage. Suggesting that copy number variation contributes to parasite adaptation to the environment.
*This paper was published by Scientific Scholar and has been archived here.*


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