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Health Agencies Update
December 20, 2000

Leishmaniasis Protection?

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JAMA. 2000;284(23):2987. doi:10.1001/jama.284.23.2987-JHA00013-3-1

Strategies to control infectious diseases transmitted by arthropod vectors have often included measures such as pesticides to keep the vectors at bay. But now, animal studies suggest a surprising potential source of protection against leishmaniasis, the disfiguring disease caused by bites from sandflies infected with the Leishmania parasite: bites from uninfected sandflies (Science. 2000;290:1351-1354).

Scientists at NIAID and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research found that mice bitten by infected flies did not get the disease if they had first endured bites by uninfected sandflies. This immunity was associated with a strong delayed-type hypersensitivity response.

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