Characterization of a new Leishmania major strain for use in a controlled human infection model

Helen Ashwin, Jovana Sadlova, Barbora Vojtkova, Tomas Becvar, Patrick Lypaczewski, Eli Schwartz, Elizabeth Greensted, Katrien Van Bocxlaer, Marion Pasin, Kai S. Lipinski, Vivak Parkash, Greg Matlashewski, Alison M. Layton, Charles J. Lacey, Charles L. Jaffe, Petr Volf, Paul M. Kaye*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Leishmaniasis is widely regarded as a vaccine-preventable disease, but the costs required to reach pivotal Phase 3 studies and uncertainty about which candidate vaccines should be progressed into human studies significantly limits progress in vaccine development for this neglected tropical disease. Controlled human infection models (CHIMs) provide a pathway for accelerating vaccine development and to more fully understand disease pathogenesis and correlates of protection. Here, we describe the isolation, characterization and GMP manufacture of a new clinical strain of Leishmania major. Two fresh strains of L. major from Israel were initially compared by genome sequencing, in vivo infectivity and drug sensitivity in mice, and development and transmission competence in sand flies, allowing one to be selected for GMP production. This study addresses a major roadblock in the development of vaccines for leishmaniasis, providing a key resource for CHIM studies of sand fly transmitted cutaneous leishmaniasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number215
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021


FundersFunder number
European Regional Development FundsCePaViP 16_019/0000759
UK Department for International Development
UK Medical Research Council
Medical Research CouncilMR/R014973
European Commission
Department for International Development
European Regional Development Fund16_019/0000759


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