Validation of a simple resazurin-based promastigote assay for the routine monitoring of miltefosine susceptibility in clinical isolates of Leishmania donovani
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Simple, cost-effective approach for routine surveillance of parasite susceptibility to antileishmanial drug miltefosine (MIL) is highly desirable for controlling emergence of drug resistance in visceral leishmaniasis (VL). We validated a simple resazurin-based fluorimetric assay using promastigotes to track natural MIL tolerance in Leishmania donovani parasites from VL cases (n = 17) against standard amastigote assay, in two different labs in India. The inter-stage MIL susceptibility correlated strongly (r = 0.70, p = 0.0018) using J774.A.1 macrophage cell line-based amastigote assay and fluorescence-based resazurin assay for promastigotes. Investigation of inter-stage MIL susceptibility for the same set of clinical isolates in another lab also showed a strong correlation (r = 0.72, p = 0.0012) using mouse peritoneal macrophages for amastigote assay and resazurin-based alamar blue assay for promastigotes. Additionally, parasites from post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) lesions (n = 7, r = 0.78, p = 0.046) and MIL-induced parasites (r = 0.92, p = 0.0001; n = 3) also exhibited a strongly correlated inter-stage miltefosine susceptibility. Thus, our results support the utility of resazurin assay as a simplified biological tool for MIL susceptibility monitoring in clinical isolates from MIL-treated VL/PKDL patients.
KeywordsClinical Isolate Visceral Leishmaniasis Resazurin Miltefosine Visceral Leishmaniasis Patient
We are grateful to Dr Robert Vinson from Paladin for kindly providing miltefosine. This work was funded by Kaladrug-R (grant number EC-FP7-222895, www.leishrisk.net/kaladrug).
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