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      Leishmaniasis in humans: drug or vaccine therapy?

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          Abstract

          Leishmania is an obligate intracellular pathogen that invades phagocytic host cells. Approximately 30 different species of Phlebotomine sand flies can transmit this parasite either anthroponotically or zoonotically through their bites. Leishmaniasis affects poor people living around the Mediterranean Basin, East Africa, the Americas, and Southeast Asia. Affected regions are often remote and unstable, with limited resources for treating this disease. Leishmaniasis has been reported as one of the most dangerous neglected tropical diseases, second only to malaria in parasitic causes of death. People can carry some species of Leishmania for long periods without becoming ill, and symptoms depend on the form of the disease. There are many drugs and candidate vaccines available to treat leishmaniasis. For instance, antiparasitic drugs, such as amphotericin B (AmBisome), are a treatment of choice for leishmaniasis depending on the type of the disease. Despite the availability of different treatment approaches to treat leishmaniasis, therapeutic tools are not adequate to eradicate this infection. In the meantime, drug therapy has been limited because of adverse side effects and unsuccessful vaccine preparation. However, it can immediately make infections inactive. According to other studies, vaccination cannot eradicate leishmaniasis. There is no perfect vaccine or suitable drug to eradicate leishmaniasis completely. So far, no vaccine or drug has been provided to induce long-term protection and ensure effective immunity against leishmaniasis. Therefore, it is necessary that intensive research should be performed in drug and vaccine fields to achieve certain results.

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          Most cited references 140

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          Miltefosine: a review of its pharmacology and therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of leishmaniasis.

          Miltefosine is an alkylphosphocholine drug with demonstrated activity against various parasite species and cancer cells as well as some pathogenic bacteria and fungi. For 10 years it has been licensed in India for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), a fatal neglected parasitic disease. It is the first and still the only oral drug that can be used to treat VL and cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). The standard 28 day miltefosine monotherapy regimen is well tolerated, except for mild gastrointestinal side effects, although its teratogenic potential severely hampers its general use in the clinic and roll-out in national elimination programmes. The pharmacokinetics of miltefosine are mainly characterized by its long residence time in the body, resulting in extensive drug accumulation during treatment and long elimination half-lives. At the moment, different combination therapy strategies encompassing miltefosine are being tested in multiple controlled clinical trials in various geographical areas of endemicity, both in South Asia and East Africa. We here review the most salient pre-clinical and clinical pharmacological aspects of miltefosine, its mechanism of action against Leishmania parasites and other pathogens, and provide a systematic overview of the efficacy and safety data from all clinical trials of miltefosine, either alone or in combination, in the treatment of VL and CL.
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            Liposomal amphotericin B for empirical therapy in patients with persistent fever and neutropenia. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Mycoses Study Group.

            In patients with persistent fever and neutropenia, amphotericin B is administered empirically for the early treatment and prevention of clinically occult invasive fungal infections. However, breakthrough fungal infections can develop despite treatment, and amphotericin B has substantial toxicity. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, multicenter trial comparing liposomal amphotericin B with conventional amphotericin B as empirical antifungal therapy. The mean duration of therapy was 10.8 days for liposomal amphotericin B (343 patients) and 10.3 days for conventional amphotericin B (344 patients). The composite rates of successful treatment were similar (50 percent for liposomal amphotericin B and 49 percent for conventional amphotericin B) and were independent of the use of antifungal prophylaxis or colony-stimulating factors. The outcomes were similar with liposomal amphotericin B and conventional amphotericin B with respect to survival (93 percent and 90 percent, respectively), resolution of fever (58 percent and 58 percent), and discontinuation of the study drug because of toxic effects or lack of efficacy (14 percent and 19 percent). There were fewer proved breakthrough fungal infections among patients treated with liposomal amphotericin B (11 patients [3.2 percent]) than among those treated with conventional amphotericin B (27 patients [7.8 percent], P=0.009). With the liposomal preparation significantly fewer patients had infusion-related fever (17 percent vs. 44 percent), chills or rigors (18 percent vs. 54 percent), and other reactions, including hypotension, hypertension, and hypoxia. Nephrotoxic effects (defined by a serum creatinine level two times the upper limit of normal) were significantly less frequent among patients treated with liposomal amphotericin B (19 percent) than among those treated with conventional amphotericin B (34 percent, P<0.001). Liposomal amphotericin B is as effective as conventional amphotericin B for empirical antifungal therapy in patients with fever and neutropenia, and it is associated with fewer breakthrough fungal infections, less infusion-related toxicity, and less nephrotoxicity.
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              Leishmaniasis--current chemotherapy and recent advances in the search for novel drugs.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2018
                22 December 2017
                : 12
                : 25-40
                Affiliations
                Department of Viral Vaccine Production, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Research and Production Complex, Karaj, Iran
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ramin Farhoudi, Department of Viral Vaccine Production, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Research and Production Complex, Kilometre 25 Autoban Karaj, 31599, Karaj, Iran, Tel +98 263 610 2999, Fax +98 263 610 2900, Email ramin.farhoudi@ 123456yahoo.com
                Article
                dddt-12-025
                10.2147/DDDT.S146521
                5743117
                © 2018 Ghorbani and Farhoudi. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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