NIH funds study of leishmaniasis in Brazil

Published on December 19, 2010
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The National Institutes of Health has funded a five-year study of human infection with Leishmania braziliensis, one of the Leishmania species that causes leishmaniasis in humans and other animals.

The collaborators on the project include Phillip Scott, PhD, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine; David Mosser, PhD, at the University of Maryland College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences; and Edgar Carvalho, MD, at the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil.

The project, which commenced in December, has a total budget of more than $2.75 million. The field site is Corte de Pedra, Brazil, where leishmaniasis is endemic. The researchers will study monocytes and dendritic cells in people who have been infected with Leishmania braziliensis.

The goal is to help develop new treatments for leishmaniasis and other inflammatory diseases. The study also will determine whether concentrations of certain monocyte subsets and their products can serve as early predictive biomarkers of treatment success in patients with leishmaniasis.