Fitness of Leishmania donovani Parasites Resistant to Drug Combinations


Drug resistance represents one of the main problems for the use of chemotherapy to treat leishmaniasis. Additionally, it could provide some advantages to Leishmania parasites, such as a higher capacity to survive in stress conditions. In this work, in mixed populations of Leishmania donovani parasites, we have analyzed whether experimentally resistant lines to one or two combined anti-leishmanial drugs better support the stress conditions than a susceptible line expressing luciferase (Luc line). In the absence of stress, none of the Leishmania lines showed growth advantage relative to the other when mixed at a 1:1 parasite ratio. However, when promastigotes from resistant lines and the Luc line were mixed and exposed to different stresses, we observed that the resistant lines are more tolerant of different stress conditions: nutrient starvation and heat shock-pH stress. Further to this, we observed that intracellular amastigotes from resistant lines present a higher capacity to survive inside the macrophages than those of the control line. These results suggest that resistant parasites acquire an overall fitness increase and that resistance to drug combinations presents significant differences in their fitness capacity versus single-drug resistant parasites, particularly in intracellular amastigotes. These results contribute to the assessment of the possible impact of drug resistance on leishmaniasis control programs.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003704

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@inproceedings{GarcaHernndez2015FitnessOL, title={Fitness of Leishmania donovani Parasites Resistant to Drug Combinations}, author={Raquel Garc{\'i}a-Hern{\'a}ndez and Ver{\'o}nica G{\'o}mez-P{\'e}rez and Santiago Castanys and Francisco Gamarro}, booktitle={PLoS neglected tropical diseases}, year={2015} }