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The impact of granulomatous skin inflammation on the tissue tropism of visceral Leishmania species.

Parasites of the L. donovani complex generally cause severe, life-threatening visceral infections in which the spleen, liver and bone marrow are severely affected. In some cases, infections only result in mild transient cutaneous lesions. The exact reasons why certain Leishmania species remain in the dermis and do not migrate to the internal organs are still largely unknown. Although several parasite-related factors have already been suggested, the involvement of the host and vector have been largely ignored. Next to some phenotypic parasite traits, such as infectivity and multiplication potential, this aberrant skin tropism might be linked to the ineffective development of granuloma in the skin, which generally clear the parasite burden in the skin, driving infection into the viscera. In this project, the complex interplay between the parasite's (epi-)phenotype, the drug and the host's immune reaction will be explored using dermotropic VL strains derived from cutaneous or visceral infections. The impact of the development of skin granulomas upon infection with the different strains will be compared in relation to their tissue tropism and in vivo drug efficacy and relapse potential.
Date:1 Jan 2019 →  31 Dec 2021
Disciplines:Immunology not elsewhere classified