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Lessons from other diseases: granulomatous inflammation in leishmaniasis

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Publication details

JournalSeminars in immunopathology
DatePublished - 17 Dec 2015
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)1-12
Original languageEnglish


The Leishmania granuloma shares some, though not all, properties with that formed following mycobacterial infection. As a simplified, noncaseating granuloma composed of relatively few and largely mononuclear cell populations, it provides a tractable model system to investigate intra-granuloma cellular dynamics, immune regulation, and antimicrobial resistance. Here, the occurrence of granulomatous pathology across the spectrum of leishmaniasis, in humans and animal reservoir hosts, is first described. However, this review focuses on the process of hepatic granuloma formation as studied in rodent models of visceral leishmaniasis, starting from the initial infection of Kupffer cells to the involution of the granuloma after pathogen clearance. It describes how the application of intravital imaging and the use of computational modeling have changed some of our thoughts on granuloma function, and illustrates how host-directed therapies have been used to manipulate granuloma form and function for therapeutic benefit. Where appropriate, lessons that may be equally applicable across the spectrum of granulomatous diseases are highlighted.

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