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Effect of the interaction of macrophages co-cultivated with Leishmania spp. and bacteria in the control of parasitic infection

Grant number: 19/11061-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2020
Effective date (End): May 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Protozoology of Parasites
Principal Investigator:Selma Giorgio
Grantee:Pedro Henrique Gallo Francisco
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Leishmaniasis are a group of diseases caused by protozoa belonging to the genus Leishmania sp., which parasite mainly macrophages. The forms of the disease range from simple cutaneous lesions that heal spontaneously, to the visceral form which, when left untreated, can be fatal. These variations depend on the species of Leishmania sp., the immune status of the host and factors not yet clarified. In Brazil the main species involved in cutaneous leishmaniasis are Leishmania braziliensis and L. amazonensis; and in Old World countries L. major and L. tropica. The typical ulcer is painless and is usually located on exposed areas of the skin; secondary bacterial infection has been observed frequently. The influence of secondary infection on the evolution and outcome of cutaneous leishmaniasis has not been proven, but the set of signs and symptoms resulting from the process seems to be an additional factor of morbidity, requiring specific treatment. The analysis of biotic factors in lesions, such as secondary infection, and its possible effect on Leishmania infection will also aid in the analysis of lesional dynamics. In this project we intend to analyze whether the co-culture with Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria, which may be present in leishmaniotic cutaneous lesions, changes the phenotypic profile, that is, the permanence or elimination of macrophages infected with L. amazonensis or L. major and the production of the inflammatory cytokine IL-1beta and nitric oxide from infected macrophages. (AU)