Quicker and simpler test to detect infectious disease in dogs

A team of researchers have proposed a new test that rapidly examines dogs for exposure to a parasite transmitted by sand flies. The test could be used in monitoring the effectiveness of sand fly control efforts.

Sugar withdrawal—killing the leishmania parasite

Findings on how parasites cope with stress on a cellular level could aid the development of drugs that combat leishmaniasis, a tropical disease neglected by the pharmaceutical industry.

Researchers unravel secrets of parasites' replication

A group of diseases that kill millions of people each year can't be touched by antibiotics, and some treatment is so harsh the patient can't survive it. They're caused by parasites, and for decades researchers have searched ...

Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by protozoan parasites that belong to the genus Leishmania and is transmitted by the bite of certain species of sand fly (subfamily Phlebotominae). Although the majority of the literature mentions only one genus transmitting Leishmania to humans (Lutzomyia) in the Americas, a 2003 study by Galati suggested a new classification for the New World sand flies, elevating several subgenera to the genus level. Elsewhere in the world, the genus Phlebotomus is considered the vector of leishmaniasis.

Most forms of the disease are transmissible only from animals (zoonosis), but some can be spread between humans. Human infection is caused by about 21 of 30 species that infect mammals. These include the L. donovani complex with three species (L. donovani, L. infantum, and L. chagasi); the L. mexicana complex with four main species (L. mexicana, L. amazonensis, and L. venezuelensis); L. tropica; L. major; L. aethiopica; and the subgenus Viannia with four main species (L. (V.) braziliensis, L. (V.) guyanensis, L. (V.) panamensis, and L. (V.) peruviana). The different species are morphologically indistinguishable, but they can be differentiated by isoenzyme analysis, DNA sequence analysis, or monoclonal antibodies.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis is the most common form of leishmaniasis. Visceral leishmaniasis is a severe form in which the parasites have migrated to the vital organs.

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