Volume 87, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Patients who recover from leishmaniasis usually show development of strong immunity and induction of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and delayed type hypersensitivity. In a randomized trial, we analyzed the IFN-γ response by using a Quantiferon– assay against three peptide antigens and compared it with results of the leishmanin skin test (LST) in persons residing in areas in Iran to which zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ZCL, 181 persons), anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL, 104 persons), and zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (ZVL, 67 persons) are endemic. The percentage of persons with an IFN-γ-positive response (> 0.2 IU/mL) to three antigens and the mean concentration of IFN-γ induced by the antigens were higher for persons from areas endemic for ZVL than for persons from areas endemic for ZCL and ACL. The percentage of persons with LST-positive results (≥ 5 mm indurations) was 99%, 94%, and 70% for areas with ZCL, ACL, and ZVL, respectively. Our data indicate that the LST is significantly more sensitive than IFN-γ levels in persons who have been cured of cutaneous leishmaniasis than in persons who have been cured of ZVL.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Murray HW, Berman JD, Davies CR, Saravia NG, , 2005. Advances in leishmaniasis. Lancet 366: 15611577.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  2. Desjeux P, , 2004. Leishmaniasis: current situation and new perspectives. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 27: 305318.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  3. Nadim A, Seyedi-Rashti MA, , 1971. A brief review of the epidemiology of various types of leishmaniasis in Iran. Acta Med Iran XIV: 99106. [Google Scholar]
  4. Reiner SL, Locksly RM, , 1995. The regulation of immunity to Leishmania major . Annu Rev Immunol 13: 151177.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  5. Muller I, Fruth U, Louis JA, , 1992. Immunobiology of experimental leishmaniasis. Med Microbiol Immunol (Berl) 181: 112.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  6. Launois P, Tacchini-Cottier F, Parra-Lopez C, Louis JA, , 1998. Cytokines in parasitic diseases: the example of cutaneous leishmaniasis. Int Rev Immunol 17: 157180.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  7. Kemp M, Hey AS, Kurtzhals JA, Christensen CB, Gaffar A, Mustafa MD, Kordofani AA, Ismail A, Kharazmi A, Theander TG, , 1994. Dichotomy of the human T cell response to Leishmania antigens. I. Th1-like response to Leishmania major promastigote antigen in individuals recovered from cutaneous leishmaniasis. Clin Exp Immunol 96: 410415.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  8. Ajdary S, Alimohammadian MH, Eslami MB, Kemp K, Kharazmi A, , 2000. Comparison of the immune profile of nonhealing cutaneous leishmaniasis patients with those with active lesions and those who have recovered from infection. Infect Immun 68: 17601764.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  9. Black CA, , 1999. Delayed type hypersensitivity: current theories with an historic perspective. Dermatol Online J 5: 114. [Google Scholar]
  10. TDR, World Health Organization, 1989. The Leishmaniases. Tropical Diseases Progress in International Research, 1987–1988. Ninth Programme Report. Geneva: UNDP/Word Bank/WHO, Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Disease, 8592. [Google Scholar]
  11. Mauel J, Behin R, Cohen S, Warren KS, , 1982. Leishmaniasis: immunity, immunopathology and immunodiagnosis. , eds. Immunology of Parasitic Infection. Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell Scientific Publication, 299314. [Google Scholar]
  12. Manson-Bahr PEC, Peters W, Killick-Kendrick R, , 1987. Diagnosis. , eds. The Leishmaniases in Biology and Medicine. Volume 2. Clinical Aspects and Control . London: Academic Press, 703729. [Google Scholar]
  13. Reithinger R, Dujardin JC, Louzir H, Pirmez C, Alexander B, Brooker S, , 2007. Cutaneous leishmaniasis. Lancet 7: 581596.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  14. Tashakori M, Kuhls K, Al-Jawabreh A, Mauricio I, Schonian G, Farajnia S, Alimohammadian MH, , 2006. Leishmania major: genetic heterogenecity of Iranian isolates by single-strand conformation polymorphism and sequence analysis of ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer. Acta Trop 98: 5258.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  15. Nadim A, Seyedi-Rashti MA, Fagihi A, , 1969. Epidemiology of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran. B. Khorasan, part III, human infection. Bull Soc Pathol Exot 62: 702710. [Google Scholar]
  16. Soleimanzadeh G, Edrissian GH, Movahhed-Danesh AM, Nadim A, , 1993. Epidemiological aspects of kala-azar in Meshkin-Shahr, Iran: human infection. WHO Bulletin OMS 71: 759762. [Google Scholar]
  17. Turgay N, Balcioglu C, Ozensoy S, Ozbel Y, Jones SL, , 2010. Quantiferon-Leishmania as an epidemiological tool for evaluating the exposure to Leishmania infection. Am J Trop Med Hyg 83: 822824.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  18. TDR, World Health Organization, 1995. Leishmaniasis. Tropical Disease Research. Progress 1975–1994, Highlights 1993–1994. Twelfth Programme Report. Geneva: UNDP/Word Bank/WHO, Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Disease, 135146. [Google Scholar]
  19. Bahar K, Dowlati Y, Shidani B, Alimohammadian MH, Khamesipour A, Ehsasi S, Hashemi-Fesharaki R, Ale-Agha S, Modabber F, , 1996. Comparative safety and immunogenicity trial of two killed Leishmania major vaccines with or without BCG in human volunteers. Clin Dermatol 14: 489495.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  20. Sokal JE, , 1975. Measurement of delayed skin-test responses. N Engl J Med 293: 501502.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  21. Wakil AE, Wang ZE, Ryan JC, Fowell DJ, Locksley RM, , 1998. Interferon gamma derived from CD4 (+) T cells is sufficient to mediate T helper cell type 1 development. J Exp Med 188: 16511656.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  22. Rostami MN, Keshavarz H, Edalat R, Sarrafnejad A, Shahrestani T, Mahboudi F, Khamesipour A, , 2010. CD8+ T cells as a source of IFN-γ production in human cutaneous leishmaniasis. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 4: e845.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  23. Muller I, , 1992. Role of T cell subsets during the recall of immunologic memory to Leishmania major . Eur J Immunol 22: 30633069.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  24. Matos DS, Azeredo-Coutinho RB, Schubach A, Conceicão-Silva F, Baptista C, Moreira JS, Mendonça SC, , 2005. Differential interferon-γ production characterizes the cytokine responses to Leishmania and Mycobacterium leprae antigens in concomitant mucocutaneous leishmaniasis and lepromatous leprosy. Clin Infect Dis 40: e5e12.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  25. Ajdary S, Riazi-rad F, Alimohammadian MH, Pakzad SR, , 2009. Immune response to Leishmania antigen in anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis. J Infect 59: 139143.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  26. Alimohammadian MH, Darabi H, Malekzadeh SH, Mahmoodzadeh-Niknam H, Ajdary S, Khamesipour A, Bahonar A, Mofarrah A, , 2007. Exposure to Leishmania major modulates the proportion of CD4+ T cells without affecting cellular immune responses. Microbiol Immunol 51: 10031011.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  27. Castellano LR, Filho DC, Argiro L, Dessein H, Prata A, Dessein A, Rodrigues V, , 2009. Th1/Th2 immune responses are associated with active cutaneous leishmaniasis and clinical cure is associated with strong interferon-γ production. Hum Immunol 70: 383390.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  28. Momeni AZ, Jalayer T, Emamjomeh M, Khamesipour A, Zicker F, Labaf Ghassem R, Dowlati Y, Sharifi I, Aminjavaheri M, Shafiei A, Alimohammadian MH, Hashemi-Fesharaki R, Nasseri K, Godal T, Smith G, Modabber F, , 1998. A randomised, double-blind, controlled trial of a killed L. major vaccine plus BCG against zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran. Vaccine 17: 466472.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  29. Noazin S, Modabber F, Khamesipour A, Smith PG, Moulton LH, Nasseri K, Sharifi I, Khalil EA, Bernal ID, Antunes CM, Kieny MP, Tanner M, , 2008. First generation leishmaniasis vaccines: a review of the field efficacy trials. Vaccine 26: 67596767.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  30. Da-Cruz AM, Oliveira MP, Bertho AL, Mendes-Aguiar CO, Coutinho SG, , 2010. T cells specific to Leishmania and other nonrelated microbial antigens can migrate to human leishmaniasis skin lesions. J Invest Dermatol 130: 13291336.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 24 Jul 2011
  • Accepted : 12 Apr 2012
  • Published online : 02 Jul 2012

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error