A comparative study was made of the virulence of Leishmania tropica major and L. tropica minor, the causal agents of the zoonotic and anthroponotic forms of cutaneous leishmaniasis, from the USSR and their antigenic characteristics were compared with those of other Leishmania species (L. donovani, L. adleri, and promastigotes from Turkmenian reptiles). The virulence of strains of L. t. major was slightly higher than that of strains of L. t. minor. However, the difference in virulence gradually levelled out in successive multiple passages of the strains in hamsters. A comparative serological study of L. t. major and L. t. minor revealed clear antigenic differences between them. The differences between L. t. major, L. t. minor and L. donovani were shown to be equal in degree
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