Intraspecific heterogeneity was demonstrated in the mini-exon gene localization from Leishmania (Viannia) panamensis and L. (Viannia) guyanensis. Different karyotypes were detected in human isolates circulating in endemic areas of Colombia. The presence of mini-exon gene sequences on chromosomes of different sizes, ranging from 370 to 800 kb in L. (V.) panamensis and from 500 to 800 kb in L. (V.) guyanensis, was observed and was neither strain nor species specific. In some cases, hybridization with 2 chromosomes in the same strain was observed. The variability of chromosomal localization of mini-exon gene sequences of these 2 species highlights the genetic variability of the Viannia subgenus and the potential utility of the mini-exon gene as a molecular epidemiologic marker.

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