Table of Contents
Molecular Biology International
Volume 2011, Article ID 532106, 14 pages
Review Article

A Perspective on the Emergence of Sialic Acids as Potent Determinants Affecting Leishmania Biology

1Infectious Diseases and Immunology Division, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, 4 Raja S.C. Mullick Road, Kolkata 700032, India
2Department of Zoology, Triveni Devi Bhalotia College, Raniganj, Burdwan 713347, India

Received 30 November 2010; Revised 19 January 2011; Accepted 12 May 2011

Academic Editor: Kwang Poo Chang

Copyright © 2011 Angana Ghoshal and Chitra Mandal. 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.


Leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania sp. has a wide range of manifestations from cutaneous to the deadly visceral form. They shuttle between the invertebrate and vertebrate hosts as promastigotes and amastigotes having adaptations for subverting host immune responses. Parasite-specific glycoconjugates have served as important determinants influencing parasite recognition, internalization, differentiation, multiplication, and virulence. Despite the steady progress in the field of parasite glycobiology, sialobiology has been a less traversed domain of research in leishmaniasis. The present paper focuses on identification, characterization, and differential distribution of sialoglycotope having the linkage-specific 9-O-acetylated sialic acid in promastigotes of different Leishmania sp. causing different clinical ramifications emphasizing possible role of these sialoglycotopes in infectivity, virulence, nitric oxide resistance, and host modulation in Leishmania spp. asserting them to be important molecules influencing parasite biology.