The Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) in humans is a chronic and often fatal disease if left untreated and is booming with an increase also in the state of São Paulo. According to the Secretary of Epidemiological Surveillance of the state of São Paulo, the disease is expanding with high mortality rate, and the region of Araçatuba concentrates a large number of cases of the state. The canine VL is a serious public health problem, because the infected animals are potent transmitters of the parasite to humans by the vector phlebotomines and canine disease is more prevalent than the human disease, usually canines cases precede human cases. Therefore, the dog is an important target in the control measures. The progression of canine infection is accompanied by a failure of cellular immunity with reducing of circulating lymphocytes and cytokines that suppress the macrophage function. The role of T cells in the induction of cellular response is crucial to the elimination of the parasite in macrophages. Although immunosuppression is already characterized, the determining factors are not well known. In the last decade studies have shown that regulation of effector function of macrophages and T cells appears to depend on miRNAs. There are many evidences of function of miRNA in regulating of the expression of proteins that are primordial for the development, function and differentiation of various cell types of the immune system. A deregulation of miRNA expression is involved in a variety of disorders including visceral leishmaniasis. In LVC, immune suppression due to cell to be determinant of disease progression, knowledge of miRNAs associated with immune regulation may be important for the response pattern of change. This way, the objective of this research is to improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of visceral leishmaniasis in the host, and thus reveal new ways that may be therapeutic targets.
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