Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) is a chronic zoonosis and, if untreated, can be fatal. The canine VL is a serious public health problem since infected animals are potent reservoirs, being more prevalent in dogs than in humans. The dogs are an important target in the control measures. Infected dogs have impaired cellular immunity and develop potent humoral response, which is not effective for elimination of the parasite. For treatment of canine visceral leishmaniasis the use of antimonials humans is not allowed. It is therefore essential to study new alternatives for the treatment of infected dogs that may reduce the incidence of the disease in endemic areas. The immunomodulator known as P-MAPA is an aggregate polymer derived from Aspergillus oryzae. This drug is capable of stimulating, in an experimental model, the lymphoproliferation and the production of cytokines related to cellular immunity, but its mechanism of action is not known. In this project, we investigate the mode of action of the drug through the expression of TLR2 and TLR4 and generation of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide and expression of protein kinase p38 mitogen-activated mononuclear cells in peripheral blood of dogs naturally infected and control after action in vitro.
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