Scholarly Research Exchange
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 173039, 25 pages
Review Article

Searching Genes Encoding Leishmania Antigens for Diagnosis and Protection

1Departamento de Biología Molecular, Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, CSIC-UAM, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
2Departamento de Bioquímica-Investigación, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, 28034 Madrid, Spain
3Centro de Pesquisas Gonçalo Moniz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ), Rua Waldemar Falcao, 121 Candeal, 40296-710 Salvador, BA, Brazil
4Unidad de Inmunología Viral, Centro Nacional de Microbiología, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Crta. Majadahonda Pozuelo Km 2, Madrid 28220, Spain

Received 12 January 2009; Revised 17 April 2009; Accepted 14 May 2009

Copyright © 2009 Manuel Soto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Leishmaniases are a wide spectrum of parasitic diseases caused by the infection of different species of the genus Leishmania. Currently, these diseases are one of the most neglected diseases threatening 350 million people in different countries around the world. Thus, these diseases require better screening, diagnostics and treatment. An effective vaccine, that is not currently available, would be the best way to confront leishmaniases. In the past 20 years the molecular characterization of Leishmania genes encoding parasite antigens has been carried out. In this review we summarize the most common strategies employed for the isolation and characterization of genes encoding Leishmania antigens. To provide a collective view, we also discuss the results related with diagnosis and protection based on different recombinant DNA-derived Leishmania products.