Drug resistance in Leishmania: does it really matter?

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Treatment failure (TF) jeopardizes the management of parasitic diseases, including leishmaniasis. From the parasite's point of view, drug resistance (DR) is generally considered as central to TF. However, the link between TF and DR, as measured by in vitro drug susceptibility assays, is unclear, some studies revealing an association between treatment outcome and drug susceptibility, others not. Here we address three fundamental questions aiming to shed light on these ambiguities. First, are the right assays being used to measure DR? Second, are the parasites studied, which are generally those that adapt to in vitro culture, actually appropriate? Finally, are other parasite factors - such as the development of quiescent forms that are recalcitrant to drugs - responsible for TF without DR?

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends In Parasitology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)251-259
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2023


  • Humans
  • Leishmania
  • Antiprotozoal Agents/pharmacology
  • Leishmaniasis/drug therapy
  • Drug Resistance


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