Visceral leishmaniasis represents a serious public health concern in endemic regions and is rapidly emerging as an opportunistic infection in HIV patients. The disease is difficult to diagnose and prevent, and available treatment is associated with toxicity and drug resistance. Even though significant headway has been made in the development of vaccines against cutaneous leishmaniasis, visceral leishmaniasis has received limited attention. The fact that a large proportion of the people living in endemic areas have self-resolving subclinical infection and individuals once recovered are immune to reinfection provides a rationale for designing immunoprophylactic strategies against visceral leishmaniasis. The primary aim of this paper is to review advances in vaccination strategies against visceral leishmaniasis, suggesting possible effector mechanism leading to resistance. It also covers the role of immunostimulators and gives an account of the adjuvants used against visceral leishmaniasis. Vaccine strategies in different established experimental models have also been dealt with which can provide potential leads for their application in humans. In light of the available observations made during the course of studies performed on experimental models of visceral leishmaniasis there is increasing evidence that a successful approach towards a vaccine involves the requirement of Th1 subset of CD4+ cells along with Th2, CD8+, and B cells. In this review we present the possible mechanism of interaction of these cells and their effector molecules in providing resistance against visceral leishmaniasis for the future design of effective vaccine against this disease.
Keywords: visceral leishmaniasis, donovani, experimental models, subunit vaccine, adjuvants, humoral immunity, cell mediated immunity
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport