Table of Contents
Molecular Biology International
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 571242, 23 pages
Review Article

Use of Antimony in the Treatment of Leishmaniasis: Current Status and Future Directions

1Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, 4 Raja S. C. Mullick Road, Kolkata West Bengal 700032, India
2Division of Cell Biology and Immunology, Institute of Microbial Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Chandigarh 160036, India

Received 18 January 2011; Accepted 5 March 2011

Academic Editor: Hemanta K. Majumder

Copyright © 2011 Arun Kumar Haldar 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.


In the recent past the standard treatment of kala-azar involved the use of pentavalent antimonials Sb(V). Because of progressive rise in treatment failure to Sb(V) was limited its use in the treatment program in the Indian subcontinent. Until now the mechanism of action of Sb(V) is not very clear. Recent studies indicated that both parasite and hosts contribute to the antimony efflux mechanism. Interestingly, antimonials show strong immunostimulatory abilities as evident from the upregulation of transplantation antigens and enhanced T cell stimulating ability of normal antigen presenting cells when treated with Sb(V) in vitro. Recently, it has been shown that some of the peroxovanadium compounds have Sb(V)-resistance modifying ability in experimental infection with Sb(V) resistant Leishmania donovani isolates in murine model. Thus, vanadium compounds may be used in combination with Sb(V) in the treatment of Sb(V) resistance cases of kala-azar.