Leishmania infection

Stable Identifier
Homo sapiens
Related Species
Leishmania mexicana, Leishmania major
Locations in the PathwayBrowser
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Intracellular parasites of the genus Leishmania constitute the etiologic agent of a disease complex called Leishmaniasis. Leishmania parasites alternate between two distinct developmental stages: the insect-adapted, flagellated, extracellular “promastigote” and the mammal-adapted, non flagellated, intracellular “amastigote” form, where the later resides within phagolysosomal vesicles of the phagocytic cell (Liu et al. 2012a). Paradoxically, the macrophage, which is the main host cell where the parasite replicates and grows, is at the same time the main cell responsible for its elimination.

The uptake of Leishmania promastigotes by host cells is a receptor mediated process that initiates phagocytosis (Ueno et al. 2012). Some parasites differentiate and survive within the macrophage phagolysosomes; others are killed by the acidic and higher temperature environment (Rossi et al. 2018). In the end, it is the balance between the host and parasitic factors that control the activation/deactivation of macrophages that determines the fate of the parasites as well as the infection outcome (Liu et al. 2012b).

The pathways curated here summarize the major steps of parasite internalization by the macrophage, the defence mechanisms that are turned on and the mechanisms of evasion of the parasite to counteract them.

Literature References
PubMed ID Title Journal Year
29294040 How to master the host immune system? Leishmania parasites have the solutions!

Rossi, M, Fasel, N

Int. Immunol. 2018
22726697 Receptor-mediated phagocytosis of Leishmania: implications for intracellular survival

Ueno, N, Wilson, ME

Trends Parasitol. 2012
22919674 The early interaction of Leishmania with macrophages and dendritic cells and its influence on the host immune response

Liu, D, Uzonna, JE

Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2012
Event Information
Name Identifier Synonyms
cutaneous leishmaniasis DOID:9111 Asian Desert Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, Leproid leishmaniasis, diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis
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