Genetic markers for SSG resistance in Leishmania donovani and SSG treatment failure in visceral leishmaniasis patients of the Indian subcontinent

M. Vanaerschot, S. Decuypere, T. Downing, H. Imamura, O. Stark, S. De Doncker, S. Roy, B. Ostyn, L. Maes, B. Khanal, M. Boelaert, G. Schönian, M. Berriman, F. Chappuis, J.C. Dujardin, S. Sundar, S. Rijal

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article


The current standard to assess pentavalent antimonial (SSG) susceptibility of Leishmania is a laborious in vitro assay of which the result has little clinical value because SSG-resistant parasites are also found in SSG-cured patients. Candidate genetic markers for clinically relevant SSG-resistant parasites identified by full genome sequencing were here validated on a larger set of clinical strains. We show that 3 genomic locations suffice to specifically detect the SSG-resistant parasites found only in patients experiencing SSG treatment failure. This finding allows the development of rapid assays to monitor the emergence and spread of clinically relevant SSG-resistant Leishmania parasites.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)752-755
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Protozoal diseases
  • Visceral
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Kala azar
  • Leishmania donovani
  • Vectors
  • Sandflies
  • Phlebotomus argentipes
  • Drug resistance
  • SSG
  • Antimonials
  • Treatment failure
  • Genetic markers
  • Genome sequencing
  • Strains
  • Haplotypes
  • Identification
  • Assays
  • India
  • Asia-South


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