Serial features. Experimental Leishmaniasis in humans: Review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Experimental infection of humans with Leishmania parasites has contributed significantly to the understanding of the etiology, transmission, and pathogenesis of leishmaniasis and the immunity associated with it. Leishmania organisms recovered from human and animal tissue, insect vectors, and in vitro cultures have all produced cutaneous or visceral leishmaniasis in human subjects who were voluntarily inoculated with them. Volunteers bitten by infected Phlebotomine sandflies also developed cutaneous or visceral disease. In these experiments, it appeared that the parasite must undergo certain developmental changes within the sandfly for it to become infective and that the parasites in sandflies were far more efficient in causing full-blown infection than were cultured Leishmania organisms. The clinical manifestations of these experimental infections did not differ from infections that were acquired naturally. Natural or experimental infections appeared to confer resistance to subsequent leishmanial infection. This immunity was best documented to be a species-specific phenomenon; however, a small number of studies have demonstrated cross protection between some Leishmania species. In this review article, data from human experimental infections are summarized and discussed in light of recent advances in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1009-1017
Number of pages9
JournalReviews of infectious diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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