A multi-disciplinary international effort to identify clinical, molecular and social factors impacting cutaneous leishmaniasis

Project Details


Leishmania causes devastating human diseases – leishmaniases - representing an important public health problem
in the Mediterranean basin and declared as emerging diseases in the EU due to climate change and population
displacement. The LeiSHield-MATI consortium will for the first time investigate in an integrative fashion the complex
parasite-vector-host interplay in cutaneous leishmaniasis affecting Morrocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Iran (MATI), using
field isolates and human clinical samples. The ultimate goal of our project is to identify genetic factors selected during
natural infection and to understand how the complex parasite-vector-animal interaction impacts clinical outcome in
infected patients. This goal will be achieved through a highly ambitious secondment plan between all partners, and
the organization of courses and workshops to train the next generation of scientists generating a long-term impact
on the research capacities in endemic areas. Capitalizing on complementary infrastructures of its EU, African and
Asian partners and their expertise in molecular parasitology, epidemiology, systems level analyses, bioinformatics,
computational biology, immunology, dermatology, field studies, and public health, our project will drive important
innovation in clinical research, strengthen capacities in disease endemic regions, inform authorities on control
measures, and raise awareness in all partner countries on this emerging EU public health problem. The highly interdisciplinary
and inter-sectorial structure of LeiSHield-MATI, and its powerful integrative and comparative approach
is novel in parasitic systems and will drive a unique bio-marker discovery pipeline for the future development of
new prognostic and diagnostic tools, as well as novel preventive and therapeutic measures that will ensure long-term
collaboration, promote scientific and commercial self-sustainability of its partners, and will have an important impact
to improve public health.
AcronymLeishShield MATI
Effective start/end date1/04/1830/09/23


  • European Commission: €45,240.00