The immunology of Leishmania/HIV co-infection

  title={The immunology of Leishmania/HIV co-infection},
  author={Ifeoma B. Okwor and Jude E. Uzonna},
  journal={Immunologic Research},
Leishmaniases are emerging as an important disease in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected persons living in several sub-tropical and tropical regions around the world, including the Mediterranean. The HIV/AIDS pandemic is spreading at an alarming rate in Africa and the Indian subcontinent, areas with very high prevalence of leishmaniases. The spread of HIV into rural areas and the concomitant spread of leishmaniases to suburban/urban areas have helped maintain the occurrence of… 

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There is an urgent need for the development of new anti-leishmanial drugs for the treatment and control of devastating VL, a neglected tropical parasitic disease in humans caused by protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani.

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  • D. Savoia
  • Medicine
    Journal of infection in developing countries
  • 2015
The diagnostic, chemotherapeutic, and immunizing strategies to control leishmaniasis are highlighted, though no human vaccine is commercially available currently owing to the complexity of the cellular immune response to this parasite.

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The diagnostic, chemotherapeutic, and immunizing strategies to control leishmaniasis are highlighted, though no human vaccine is commercially available currently owing to the complexity of the cellular immune response to this parasite.

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Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) is a chronic infectious disease endemic in tropical and sub-tropical areas including the Mediterranean basin, caused by a group of protozoan parasites of the genus

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It is clear from the epidemiological data available that Leishmaniasis can probably act as a powerful co-factor in the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection and the combined modulation of Leishmania - and HIV- 1-related pathogenesis in the co-infected cases is probably a realistic goal.

Leishmania/HIV co-infections: epidemiology in Europe

The systematic use of standardized and recently computerized case-report forms, a central international registry at the WHO's headquarters in Geneva, and the use of a geographical information system (GIS) for mapping and monitoring the co-infections have together improved the overall quality of the epidemiological data-gathering.

Leishmania/HIV co-infections in the second decade.

In this review several aspects of the Leishmania/HIV co-infection are emphasized viz., epidemiological features, new ways of transmission, pathogenesis, clinical outcome, diagnosis, treatment and secondary prohylaxis.

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Vector and reservoir control is difficult due to the elusive nature of the vector and the diversity of the animal reservoir and a detailed knowledge of immune response to the parasite would help in designing prophylactic and therapeutic strategies against this infection.

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Based on the previous experience of 20 years of coinfection in Europe, this review focuses on the management of Leishmania-HIV-coinfected patients in low-income countries where leishmaniasis is endemic.

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The number of cases of co-infection is expected to rise in Africa owing to the simultaneous spread of the two infectious diseases and their increasingly overlapping geographical distribution.

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Over 850 Leishmania-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection cases have been recorded, the majority in Europe, where 7 to 17% of HIV-positive individuals with fever have amastigotes, suggesting

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VL is an important opportunistic infection in HIV patients, which is potentially fatal, even when correct treatment is completed, and treatment should be done with pentavalent antimonials or amphotericin B in the case of relapse.