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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

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

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]

Zydus, IDRI partner to develop visceral leishmaniasis vaccine candidate

In a unique partnership, Zydus, India's fourth largest healthcare group and an innovation-led global healthcare provider, and IDRI, a Seattle-based non-profit research and product development organization, announced today they are collaborating on the production and clinical development of IDRI's visceral leishmaniasis vaccine candidate, designed to prevent the deadly parasitic disease. [More]
WHO includes new paediatric therapeutic options to EMLc

WHO includes new paediatric therapeutic options to EMLc

This week the World Health Organization released its newly updated 4th WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children, in which three treatments developed by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative and its partners have now been included. [More]

WHO's new HIV treatment guidelines call for immediate ART for HIV-infected children

The World Health Organization's new HIV treatment guidelines, released today at the 2013 International AIDS Society Conference, include new antiretroviral therapy recommendations for HIV-infected children, and will mean that more children will be on better treatments. [More]

Sustained engagement, partnership needed to implement new treatments for neglected diseases

Days after two landmark resolutions were adopted at the World Health Assembly - on neglected tropical diseases and on research and development, financing and coordination for the health needs of developing countries - over 400 scientists, representatives and ministers of health, ambassadors, national control programme representatives, African regulators, health workers, public health experts, and activists from 21 African countries and 10 others from around the world gather in Nairobi to take stock of health innovation for neglected diseases in Africa over the past decade. [More]
New LAMP malaria test to improve diagnosis for imported UK cases

New LAMP malaria test to improve diagnosis for imported UK cases

A new, highly sensitive blood test that quickly detects even the lowest levels of malaria parasites in the body could make a dramatic difference in efforts to tackle the disease in the UK and across the world, according to new research published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. [More]

Humans: The primary cause of global climate change

Do most scientists agree that human activity is causing global climate change? Yes, they do, according to an extensive analysis of the abstracts or summaries of scientific papers published over the past 20 years, even though public perception tends to be that climate scientists disagree over the fundamental cause of climate change. [More]
Researchers reveal new molecular mechanisms that resist visceral leishmaniasis

Researchers reveal new molecular mechanisms that resist visceral leishmaniasis

Researchers from CNRS, Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier and IRD have elucidated new molecular mechanisms involved in resistance to visceral leishmaniasis, a serious parasitic infection. [More]