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Infectivity and Drug Susceptibility Profiling of Different Leishmania-Host Cell Combinations

Abstract : Protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania are the causative agents of leishmaniasis, a spectrum of a disease that threatens public health worldwide. Although next-generation therapeutics are urgently needed, the early stage of the drug discovery process is hampered by very low hit rates from intracellular Leishmania phenotypic high-throughput screenings. Designing and applying a physiologically relevant in vitro assay is therefore in high demand. In this study, we characterized the infectivity, morphology, and drug susceptibility of different Leishmania and host cell infection combinations. Primary bone marrow-derived macrophage (BMDM) and differentiated human acute monocytic leukemia (THP-1) cells were infected with amastigote or promastigote forms of Leishmania amazonensis and Leishmania donovani. Regardless of host cell types, amastigotes were generally well phagocytosed and showed high infectivity, whereas promastigotes, especially those of L. donovani, had predominantly remained in the extracellular space. In the drug susceptibility test, miltefosine and sodium stibogluconate (SSG) showed varying ranges of activity with 14 and >10-fold differences in susceptibility, depending on the host-parasite pairs, indicating the importance of assay conditions for evaluating antileishmanial activity. Overall, our results suggest that combinations of Leishmania species, infection forms, and host cells must be carefully optimized to evaluate the activity of potential therapeutic compounds against Leishmania.
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Kyung-Hwa Baek, Laura Piel, Thibault Rosazza, Eric Prina, Gerald Späth, et al.. Infectivity and Drug Susceptibility Profiling of Different Leishmania-Host Cell Combinations. Pathogens, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2020, 9 (5), pp.393. ⟨10.3390/pathogens9050393⟩. ⟨pasteur-02750338⟩

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