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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 719361, 8 pages
Review Article

The Prominent Role of Neutrophils during the Initial Phase of Infection by Leishmania Parasites

WHO Immunology Research and Training Center, Department of Biochemistry, University of Lausanne, 1066 Epalinges, Switzerland

Received 6 July 2009; Accepted 6 August 2009

Academic Editor: Abhay R. Satoskar

Copyright © 2010 Mélanie Charmoy 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.


Neutrophils are rapidly and massively recruited to the site of Leishmania inoculation, where they phagocytose the parasites, some of which are able to survive within these first host cells. Neutrophils can thus provide a transient safe shelter for the parasites, prior to their entry into macrophages where they will replicate. In addition, neutrophils release and synthesize rapidly several factors including cytokines and chemokines. The mechanism involved in their rapid recruitment to the site of parasite inoculation, as well as the putative consequences of their massive presence on the microenvironment of the focus of infection will be discussed in the context of the development of the Leishmania-specific immune response.