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Trop Med Int Health. 2001 Nov;6(11):899-905.

Monitoring drug resistance in leishmaniasis.

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Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.


There are many factors that can influence the efficacy of drugs in the treatment of leishmaniasis. These include both an intrinsic variation in the sensitivity of Leishmania species, described for pentavalent antimonials, paromomycin, azoles and other drugs that have reached clinical trials, as well as acquired drug resistance to antimonials. Acquired resistance has been studied in the laboratory for several decades but it is only recently that clinical resistance in L. donovani field isolates has been demonstrated. The monitoring of resistance is problematic due to a reliance on the amastigote-macrophage culture assay to adequately correlate clinical and in vitro resistance and a lack of knowledge about the molecular and biochemical mechanisms of resistance to antileishmanial drugs.

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