About this Research Topic
Trypanosomatid parasites are Kinetoplastid microorganisms which cycle between the gut of insect vectors and the tissues of vertebrate hosts. During the vertebrate stages, these parasites alter the expression of virulence genes and modify biological and antigenic properties to counteract the host immune responses and establish a persistent infection.
The diseases caused by kinetoplastid parasites are among the so called Neglected Tropical Diseases, which affect millions of individuals mostly in low and middle-income countries from tropical and subtropical regions. In addition to their close relationship with poverty, these diseases permanently deform and disable a large number of poor people, who are thus trapped in their poverty situation.
Although chemotherapy is critically important in reducing the parasite burden, the increasing resistance to the current drugs remains as a major concern. To date, there are no human licensed vaccines against trypanosomatid infections, and the majority of the immunization studies have been conducted only at the pre-clinical level. Thus, there is an urgent need for the development of prophylactic and/ or therapeutic vaccines able to elicit an effective immune response against these parasites.
Trypanosomatid parasites drive major modifications of the immune system, and frequently the immune response elicited does not result in protection. Even worse, it might sometimes be responsible for immunopathology disorders. Therefore, a deep knowledge of the strategies displayed by the parasites and the response of their hosts to the infection is fundamental for the rational design of protective tools.
This Research Topic focuses on the search for new prophylactic or therapeutic immunization platforms, the elucidation of the immune mechanism contributing to an effective protection and the strategies by which these Kinetoplastid parasites evade the host immune response. We welcome the submission of manuscripts including Original Research, Review, and Clinical Trial Articles covering, but not limited to, the following sub-topics:
1- New antigens and adjuvants against kinetoplastid parasite Neglected Tropical Diseases.
2- Immune responses elicited by infection or vaccination that contribute to parasite control.
3- Parasite strategies to evade the host immune response.
4- Parasite-mediated mechanisms contributing to the immunopathology.
5- Long lasting protective immune response against trypanosomatids.
Keywords: Trypanosomatid parasites, immune responses, protective strategies
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