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J Trop Med. 2012;2012:892817. doi: 10.1155/2012/892817. Epub 2011 Sep 5.

Development of Vaccines against Visceral Leishmaniasis.

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The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, The University of Melbourne, 1G Royal Parade, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia.


Leishmaniasis is a neglected disease resulting in a global morbidity of 2,090 thousand Disability-Adjusted Life Years and a mortality rate of approximately 60,000 per year. Among the three clinical forms of leishmaniasis (cutaneous, mucosal, and visceral), visceral leishmaniasis (VL) accounts for the majority of mortality, as if left untreated VL is almost always fatal. Caused by infection with Leishmania donovani or L. infantum, VL represents a serious public health problem in endemic regions and is rapidly emerging as an opportunistic infection in HIV patients. To date, no vaccine exists for VL or any other form of leishmaniasis. In endemic areas, the majority of those infected do not develop clinical symptoms and past infection leads to robust immunity against reinfection. Thus the development of vaccine for Leishmania is a realistic public health goal, and this paper summarizes advances in vaccination strategies against VL.

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