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Protozoan diseases Projects

Control strategies for visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL) in South America: applications of molecular epidemiology.

Project Number
: 015407
: 45 months
EC contribution
: € 2,490,000
: Specific Targeted Research Projects (STREP) and Coordination Actions (CA) for Developing countries (DEV)
: Protozoan diseses
Starting date
: 01/01/2006


A full and detailed understanding of the transmission cycles and epidemiology of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL) is necessary to develop disease control and surveillance. Molecular epidemiology and population genetics can resolve the diversity and structure of Leishmania populations, for ex. the intricate relationships between clinical forms of human infection and mammal reservoirs. Research will involve comparative investigations between endemic areas for VL and MCL in Par aguay, Peru, Brazil and Venezuela and will strengthen local capacities for research and for Latin Am-European collaborations. The technical aim is to develop a full range of microsatellite markers and multi-locus sequencing typing (MLST) of housekeeping ge nes for the Leishmania braziliensis complex and for L guyanensis. We will also establish in South America the procedures for microsatellite and MLST analysis for Linfantum, which have been developed and proven as epidemiological tools by a European network. The practical aims are to encourage the application of these and other molecular epidemiological methods in S. America for
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