What is the role of immunization in the management of leishmaniasis?

Updated: Feb 18, 2020
  • Author: Craig G Stark, MD, FACP, FFTM, RCPS(Glasg), FISTM; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Answer

In some areas of the world (eg, Russia, Middle East), live-attenuated L major promastigotes have been used preemptively to immunize against Old World cutaneous leishmaniasis. This practice produces a modified form of the disease and results in a scar at the injection site. Immunity to subsequent L major infections is usually good; however, as with natural infection, cross-reactive immunity to other Leishmania species does not occur.

Many more universally useful and cosmetically acceptable Leishmania vaccine formulations are under investigation. To date, no vaccines are commercially available.


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