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Leishmania infantum proteophosphoglycans regurgitated by the bite of its natural sand fly vector, Lutzomyia longipalpis, promote parasite establishment in mouse skin and skin-distant tissues

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Microbes and Infection
Issue number11
Volume12
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)875-879
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We demonstrate that a proteophosphoglycan-rich gel secreted by Leishmania infantum inside the midgut of Lutzomyia longipalpis sand flies (promastigote secretory gel) is regurgitated along with an average dose of 500 L. infantum metacyclic promastigotes per infected bite. Using both low (10³) and high (10⁵) doses of parasites in the ears of BALB/c mice we show that the infections benefit from the presence of vector saliva and parasite gel in the skin. However, chronic infection of the spleen was only enhanced in high dose co-infections with gel. These results provide the framework for a more natural experimental model of visceral leishmaniasis.