Infectivity of five different types of macrophages by Leishmania infantum

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Leishmania are intracellular parasites that multiply as the amastigote form in the macrophages of their vertebrate hosts. Since vaccines against leishmaniases are still under development, the control of these diseases relies on prompt diagnosis and chemotherapy in infected humans as well as in dogs, which are the main reservoir of Leishmania infantum, in Mediterranean countries. To establish the macrophage type to be used as an in vitro model for antileishmanial chemotherapeutic studies, we analysed the susceptibility of human peripheral blood derived macrophages, macrophages derived from mouse bone marrow, mouse peritoneal macrophages and macrophages differentiated from cell lines U-937 and DH82 to infection by two L. infantum strains, one obtained from a human leishmanial infection and other from a canine infection. Both strains displayed comparable behaviour in their capacity of infecting the different macrophage types. Human peripheral blood macrophages and DH82 cells were less infectable by both strains. U-937, mouse peritoneal macrophages and mouse bone marrow derived macrophages are the most active cells to phagocytose the parasites. However, U-937 cell line appears to be the most useful as Leishmania infection model providing an unlimited source of homogeneous host cells with reproducibility of the results, is less time consuming, less expensive and tolerate high doses of first line drugs for human and canine visceral leishmaniasis treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-155
Number of pages6
JournalActa Tropica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Cell Line
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leishmania infantum
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral
  • Life Cycle Stages
  • Macrophages
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Phagocytosis
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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