More than a million people in tropical countries contract the parasite Leishmania every year through the bites of infected sand flies. Most people develop disfiguring – but not life-threatening – skin lesions at the sites of the bites. But if the parasite spreads to the internal organs, it causes a disease known as visceral leishmaniasis, which kills about 30,000 people every year.
Grybchuk D, Akopyants NS, Kostygov AY, Konovalovas A, Lye L-F, Dobson DE, Zangger H, Fasel N, Butenko A, Frolov AO, Votýpka J, d’Avila-Levy CM, Kulich P, Moravcová J, Plevka P, Rogozin IB, Serva S, Lukeš J, Beverley SM, Yurchenko V. Viral discovery and diversity in trypanosomatid protozoa with a focus on relatives of the human parasite Leishmania. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Week of Dec. 25, 2017.