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Studies in vitro on infectivity and sensitivity to antileishmanial drugs in New World Leishmania species transfected with the green fluorescent protein [pIR3(-)-eGFP]



Current chemotherapeutic agents for leishmaniasis have several disadvantages interfering with the effective treatment and therefore more and better antileishmanial drugs are needed. Discovery of candidates for leishmaniasis treatment requires not only accurate and precise methodologies but also well-known biological system to measure infectivity of parasites and antileishmanial activity of the new compounds. Significant variation in the in vitro and in vivo infectivity and sensitivity to established and experimental drugs in Leishmania strains are reported. This work reports the in vitro biological behavior and antileishmanial drugs sensitivity of different green fluorescent protein transfectant Leishmanias strains. The in vitro growth kinetic and infectivity to U937 cells vary slightly in the Leishmania transfectant strains in comparison with their correspondant wild-type. However, the insertion of the pIR3(-)-eGFP may affect the sensitivity of the parasites to meglumine antimoniate (MA) and miltefosine but not to amphotericin B (AMB) and pentamidine isethionate. In consequence, AMB or pentamidine isethionate but not MA or miltefosine should be used as antileishmanial control drugs during in vitro assays of antileishmanial activity. Furthermore, is recommended to test compounds against more than one Leishmania strain in order to verify that the antileihmanial activity of these compound is similar among species.


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*Corresponding author. PECET-Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 70 # 52-21, Medellin, Colombia. E-mail:


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These authors contributed equally to this paper.



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Studies in vitro on infectivity and sensitivity to antileishmanial drugs in New World Leishmania species transfected with the green fluorescent protein [pIR3(-)-eGFP]



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