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Logo of nihpaAbout Author manuscriptsSubmit a manuscriptNIH Public Access; Author Manuscript; Accepted for publication in peer reviewed journal;
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. Author manuscript; available in PMC Aug 17, 2011.
Published in final edited form as:
PMCID: PMC3157292

Reappraisal of the immunopathogenesis of disseminated leishmaniasis: in situ and systemic immune response


Disseminated leishmaniasis (DL) is an emerging form of Leishmania braziliensis infection characterised by multiple cutaneous lesions on different parts of the body and a high rate of mucosal involvement. Systemic production of TNFα and IFNγ in DL patients is lower than in cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) caused by L. braziliensis, which may account for parasite dissemination due to the decreased ability to control parasite growth. In this study, the systemic and in situ immune response of DL and CL patients was characterised through evaluation of chemokine and cytokine production. In situ evaluation showed similar production of IFNγ, TNFα, IL-10, transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ), chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2), CCL3, CCL11 and chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 10 (CXCL10) in papular and ulcerative lesions from DL as well as in ulcerated lesions from CL. Serum levels of CXCL9, a chemokine that attracts T-cells, was higher in serum from DL than from CL. These data indicate that a decrease in the type 1 immune response in peripheral blood of DL patients is due to attraction of Leishmania antigen-activated T-cells to the multiple cutaneous lesions. This may account for the absence of or few parasites in the lesions and for the development of ulcers similar to those observed in CL.

Keywords: Disseminated leishmaniasis, Leishmania braziliensis, Cytokines, Chemokines, Immunopathogenesis, Cutaneous leishmaniasis
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