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Exp Dermatol. 2007 Apr;16(4):340-6.

Cutaneous Leishmania infection: progress in pathogenesis research and experimental therapy.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Mainz, Germany.


Studies in murine experimental Leishmania major infection have helped to understand the requirements for efficient development of T helper (Th)1/cytotoxic T (Tc)1-mediated protection against the parasite. As such they have revealed that Fc gamma receptor (Fc gamma R)I and Fc gamma RIII-mediated uptake of L. major amastigotes by dendritic cells (DC) is an important prerequisite for Th1 development. In addition, DC-derived cytokines contribute to adequate T-cell education. DC-based vaccines may thus provide an important tool for both the development of a prophylactic vaccine against leishmaniasis and - together with leishmanicidal drugs - for eliciting immune-deviating functions towards protective immunity in non-healing leishmaniasis. This review highlights recent advances in the understanding of the role of DC for the induction of Th1/Tc1-predominant immunity against L. major and how this knowledge may translate into clinical approaches.

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