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Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of infected sand flies. It is found in nearly 88 countries, from rain forests in Central and South America to deserts in the Middle East and west Asia. Some cases of the disease have also appeared in Mexico and Texas.

Leishmaniasis takes several different forms, including the most common cutaneous leishmaniasis, which causes skin sores, and the more severe visceral leishmaniasis, which affects internal organs such as the spleen, liver, and bone marrow. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are 1.5 million new cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis and 500,000 new cases of visceral leishmaniasis in the world each year.
Further Reading
DNDi awarded USAID grant to develop new treatments for river blindness, elephantiasis

DNDi awarded USAID grant to develop new treatments for river blindness, elephantiasis

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative has been awarded US$ 10 million by the United States Agency for International Development to develop new treatments for onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) - the first-ever USAID grant for neglected tropical disease research and development (R&D). [More]
Bayer, DNDi sign first agreement to develop new oral treatment for onchocerciasis

Bayer, DNDi sign first agreement to develop new oral treatment for onchocerciasis

Bayer HealthCare and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) have signed an agreement under which Bayer will provide the active ingredient emodepside to support DNDi in its effort to develop a new oral drug to treat river blindness (or onchocerciasis). The world's second leading infectious cause of blindness, river blindness is a neglected tropical disease caused by a filarial worm. [More]
Study highlights connections between climate change and new outbreak of diseases

Study highlights connections between climate change and new outbreak of diseases

Climate change may affect human health directly or indirectly. In addition to increased threats of storms, flooding, droughts, and heat waves, other health risks are being identified. In particular, new diseases are appearing, caused by infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, parasites) heretofore unknown or that are changing, especially under the effect of changes in the climate (change of host, vector, pathogenicity, or strain). [More]
AfriCoLeish launches Phase III clinical study to test 2 treatments for HIV-VL co-infected patients

AfriCoLeish launches Phase III clinical study to test 2 treatments for HIV-VL co-infected patients

The international research & development (R&D) consortium, AfriCoLeish, formed by six research organizations from East Africa and Europe, has launched a Phase III clinical study to address the extreme difficulty in treating visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in patients who also are HIV-positive. [More]
Prevalence of NTDs in Latin American countries presents opportunity for US foreign policy

Prevalence of NTDs in Latin American countries presents opportunity for US foreign policy

Recently published prevalence estimates of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in five Latin American countries - Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela - could suggest a new direction for United States foreign policy in the region, according to a tropical-disease expert at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy. [More]
Celgene Global Health, DNDi expand partnership to identify new drug candidates for NTDs

Celgene Global Health, DNDi expand partnership to identify new drug candidates for NTDs

Celgene Global Health, a division of Celgene Corporation, and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative strengthen their collaboration with a four-year Research Collaboration Agreement to identify and optimize new drug candidates for the treatment of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). [More]
Fogarty receives three grants for research focused on biodiversity conservation

Fogarty receives three grants for research focused on biodiversity conservation

In addition to diseases for which there are ineffective or no cures, key pathogens are becoming increasingly drug-resistant. [More]

Researchers review effectiveness of RDTs in diagnosing visceral leishmaniasis

Researchers from the Cochrane Infectious Disease Group, co-ordinated through the editorial base in LSTM, conducted an independent review into the effectiveness of rapid diagnostic tests in diagnosing patients with visceral leishmaniasis (VL), published in The Cochrane Library today. [More]
Scientists explore why Leishmania parasites develop resistance against existing drugs

Scientists explore why Leishmania parasites develop resistance against existing drugs

Leishmaniasis is one of the most underreported and insufficiently monitored diseases in the world affecting mainly the poorest and most disadvantaged people on the Indian Subcontinent, Latin America and East Africa. The disease is caused by tiny parasites, the Leishmania, and transmitted by the bite of an infected sandfly. [More]
Drug used to treat TB may also act against various infections, says study

Drug used to treat TB may also act against various infections, says study

A drug under clinical trials to treat tuberculosis could be the basis for a class of broad-spectrum drugs that act against various bacteria, fungal infections and parasites, yet evade resistance, according to a study by University of Illinois chemists and collaborators. [More]
WHO to highlight increasing threat of vector-borne diseases on World Health Day 2014

WHO to highlight increasing threat of vector-borne diseases on World Health Day 2014

More than half the world's population is at risk from diseases such as malaria, dengue, leishmaniasis, Lyme disease, schistosomiasis, and yellow fever, carried by mosquitoes, flies, ticks, water snails and other vectors. Every year, more than one billion people are infected and more than one million die from vector-borne diseases. [More]
A-PARADDISE consortium obtains funds to develop innovative therapies for neglected parasitic diseases

A-PARADDISE consortium obtains funds to develop innovative therapies for neglected parasitic diseases

The international consortium A-PARADDISE (Anti-Parasitic Drug Discovery in Epigenetics), coordinated by Inserm, has just obtained funds of €6 million from the European Commission to conduct large-scale testing of innovative therapies against four neglected parasitic diseases: schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and malaria. [More]
Research provides important new information about transmission of human leishmaniasis

Research provides important new information about transmission of human leishmaniasis

Research involving scientists at the University of York has provided important new information about transmission of human leishmaniasis, a group of infectious diseases which kills more than 100,000 people a year. [More]
Research proves effectiveness of vaccine against leishmaniasis

Research proves effectiveness of vaccine against leishmaniasis

The disease is considered endemic in the south states of Mexico. A research executed in the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY) has successfully proved, in test animals, the effectiveness of a vaccine that immunizes the organism against leishmaniasis, an ailment transmitted through insects very similar to mosquitos and mainly presents symptoms in the skin, liver or spleen. [More]

PLOS and DNDi to launch collection of neglected tropical diseases at 10-year anniversary of DNDi

As part of a collaborative initiative, PLOS and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) are delighted to be launching a special Collection-PLOS & DNDi: a decade of Open Access and Neglected Tropical Diseases R&D (Research and Development)-to coincide with a joint event at the Institut Pasteur in Paris celebrating the 10-year anniversary of DNDi. [More]
New concept outlines steps to tackle neglected tropical diseases, expedite poverty reduction efforts

New concept outlines steps to tackle neglected tropical diseases, expedite poverty reduction efforts

A new concept and policy framework published in PLOS NTDs outlines concrete steps for the global development community as it works to synthesize health goals with economic, environmental and social priorities. [More]
Parasites in patients who relapse after leishmaniasis treatment may have greater infectivity

Parasites in patients who relapse after leishmaniasis treatment may have greater infectivity

Relapses after treatment for Leishmania infection may be due to a greater infectivity of the parasite rather than drug resistance, as has been previously thought, according to a study published in mBio-, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. [More]

Combination therapies: Cost-effective alternative to treat visceral leishmaniasis

Visceral leishmaniasis is the second-deadliest parasitic disease after malaria. Each year, thousands fall victim among poor and marginalised populations in low-income countries. [More]

DFID awards 5-year grant to DNDi to advance research and development for neglected diseases

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has announced its renewed support to the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), allocating a total of - 30 million (- 35 million) over the coming five years (2013-2018) to DNDi's Research & Development (R&D) portfolio to fight neglected diseases. [More]

DNDi and Institut Pasteur Korea collaborates to spur fight against neglected diseases

A collaboration between the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) and the Institut Pasteur Korea (IP-K) to spur the fight against neglected diseases has been established. [More]