The key difference between Leishmania and Trypanosoma is that Leishmania is a genus of parasitic, single-celled protozoans that cause the human disease leishmaniasis, while Trypanosoma is a genus of parasitic, single-celled protozoans that cause human disease trypanosomiasis.
Parasites live in other host organisms and depend on them for survival. There are different types of parasitic infections in humans, including malaria, leishmaniasis, African trypanosomiasis, American trypanosomiasis, toxoplasmosis, acanthamoebiasis, trichomoniasis, etc. Leishmania and Trypanosoma are two parasitic genera that have species causing human diseases.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Leishmania
3. What is Trypanosoma
4. Similarities – Leishmania and Trypanosoma
5. Leishmania vs Trypanosoma in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Leishmania vs Trypanosoma
What is Leishmania?
Leishmania is a genus of parasitic protozoa. They are single-celled species that cause leishmaniasis, which is a human disease. Leishmania genus comes under the family Trypanosomatidae. The species in this genus are spread by sandflies of the genus Phlebotomus. Leishmania species are unicellular eukaryotes having a well-defined nucleus as well as other cell organelles, including kinetoplasts and flagella. Depending on these species’ lifecycle, there are two structural variants as amastigote and promastigote. The amastigote form is found in the mononuclear phagocytes and circulatory systems of humans. On the other hand, the promastigote form is found in the alimentary tract of sandflies.
Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease found in parts of the tropics, subtropics, and southern Europe. There are several types of leishmaniasis that differ from each other by symptoms. Cutaneous leishmaniasis causes skin sores. Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis has symptoms like stuffy nose, mouth or nose sores, and frequent nose bleeding. Visceral leishmaniasis, on the other hand, has symptoms such as weight loss, fever, swelling of the liver and spleen, abnormal blood tests, low blood counts like white blood cells (leukopenia), red blood cells (anemia), and low platelet count (thrombocytopenia). Leishmaniasis, which is caused by Leishmania species, can be diagnosed through physical examination, blood, and DNA tests. Furthermore, treatments for leishmaniasis may include applying heat to skin sores, antifungal agents like itraconazole, ketoconazole, and antibiotic medications such as miltefosine and paromomycin.
What is Trypanosoma?
Trypanosoma is another genus of parasitic protozoa. These single-celled species cause trypanosomiasis. The Trypanosoma genus belongs to the family Trypanosomatidae. This genus contains notable human parasitic species that cause diseases like sleeping sickness (Trypanosoma brucei) and Chagas disease (Trypanosoma cruzi). The symptoms of sleeping sickness include fevers, headaches, itchiness, joint pain, confusion, poor coordination, and trouble sleeping.
Sleeping sickness can be diagnosed by finding the parasite in a blood smear or fluid of the lymph node. It can be treated with medications like pentamidine, suramin, eflornithine, nifurtimox, and fexinidazole. On the other hand, the symptoms of Chagas disease include fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, swelling at the site of the bite, heart disease, and digestive complications such as an enlarged esophagus and enlarged colon. Chagas disease can be diagnosed by finding parasites in a blood smear by using a microscope or DNA testing through PCR. Furthermore, treatment options for Chagas disease may include medications such as benznidazole or nifurtimox.
What are the Similarities Between Leishmania and Trypanosoma?
- Leishmania and Trypanosoma are two parasitic genera comprising species that cause human diseases.
- They are eukaryotes.
- They belong to the family
- Both genera contain pathogenic species that cause human infection.
- Both genera have species that have different structural variants in the life cycle, such as amastigote.
- The human infections caused by the species of these genera are treated through specific medications.
What is the Difference Between Leishmania and Trypanosoma?
Leishmania is a genus comprising parasitic protozoans that cause leishmaniasis, while Trypanosoma is a genus comprising parasitic protozoans that cause trypanosomiasis. Thus, this is the key difference between Leishmania and Trypanosoma. Furthermore, diseases caused by Leishmania species are found in the tropics, subtropics, and southern Europe, while diseases caused by Trypanosoma species are more frequently found in central and south America.
The below infographic presents the differences between Leishmania and Trypanosoma in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Leishmania vs Trypanosoma
Leishmania and Trypanosoma are two parasitic genera of protozoans containing species that cause human diseases. Both genera belong to the family Trypanosomatidae. Leishmania species are responsible for the human disease leishmaniasis, while Trypanosoma species are responsible for the human disease trypanosomiasis. So, this is the key difference between Leishmania and Trypanosoma.