Chapter

Proteins and Proteomics of Leishmania and Trypanosoma

Volume 74 of the series Subcellular Biochemistry pp 77-101

Date:

A2 and Other Visceralizing Proteins of Leishmania: Role in Pathogenesis and Application for Vaccine Development

  • Ana Paula FernandesAffiliated withFaculdade de Farmácia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais Email author 
  • , Adriana Monte Cassiano CanavaciAffiliated withFaculdade de Farmácia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • , Laura-Isobel McCallAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, McGill University
  • , Greg MatlashewskiAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, McGill University

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Abstract

Visceral leishmaniasis is a re-emergent disease and a significant cause of morbidity worldwide. Amongst the more than 20 Leishmania species, Leishmania donovani, Leishmania infantum and more rarely Leishmania amazonensis are associated with visceral leishmaniasis. A major question in leishmaniasis research is how these species migrate to and infect visceral organs whereas other species such as Leishmania major and Leishmania braziliensis remain in the skin, causing tegumentary leishmaniasis. Here we present the more recent advances and approaches towards the identification of species-specific visceralizing factors of Leishmania, such as the A2 protein, leading to a better understanding of parasite biology. We also discuss their potential use for the development of a vaccine for visceral leishmaniasis.