Special Issue "Vaccines for Leishmaniasis and the Implications of Their Development"

A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X). This special issue belongs to the section "Vaccines against (re)emerging and Tropical Infections Diseases".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Pedro José Alcolea
Guest Editor
CSIC—Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas (CIB), Madrid, Spain
Interests: Leishmania genomics; vaccines; protein structure and function
Dr. Ana M. Alonso
Co-Guest Editor
CSIC—Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas (CIB), Madrid, Spain
Interests: leishmaniasis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A few efficacious vaccines against canine leishmaniasis are available, though high protection efficiency is desirable. The search for effective vaccines against pathogens is never easy, and it is especially challenging concerning parasites. Unambiguous determination of the protection of an animals or patients against the parasite requires a better understanding of the immune response to Leishmania spp. Currently, parasite burden determination and clinical sign assessment are the only pivotal parameters for this purpose. Strictly speaking, the Th polarization paradigm is valid for the Leishmania major—mouse infection model, whereas canine and human leishmaniases are characterized by a balanced immune response. Increased parasite burden; Th2 response predominance; IL-10 and TGF-β expression; Leishmania-specific cell immunosuppression; and Leishmania-specific IgG, IgM, IgA and IgE are associated with disease progression. Conversely, increased PBMC levels after leishmanial antigen stimulation, IFN-γ and TNF-α expression, T CD4+, CD8+ and B cell proliferation, and positive IDR are related to the achievement of protection against the parasite. The role of antigen-presenting cells is pivotal in a successful immune response against Leishmania, stimulating IL-1, IL-6, and IL-12 production. IL-12 triggers the differentiation of immature T cells into Th1 and Th17. Th17 cells may favor protection against human VL via IFN-γ and IL-17 production but may lead to disease progression in the case of human CL. IFN-γ and IgG2a associations with protection and fluctuations over time depending on the host species are debatable. iNOS induction and subsequent NO production associated with the Th1 response is the most remarkable protection mechanism, but certain parasite strains are resistant to NO. A better understanding of the Leishmania evasion mechanisms is still required, including inhibition of NO production, ROS-mediated host cell killing, blocking of antigen presentation and cytokine production, and recruitment of cells secreting IL-10 such as T regulatory cells. In addition to this complexity, vaccine experimentation for leishmaniasis is especially challenging because rodents are not always an appropriate animal model, particularly for VL, and the commercial reagents used are usually scarcer and of lower quality. Therefore, I encourage you to contribute to this Special Issue with a vaccine trial report (either positive or negative), a vaccine trial review, or a specific industrial development or methods paper, to move vaccine research forward. Immune response research papers and reviews are also welcome, particularly those that organize knowledge and improve our understanding of the immune response and parasite evasion mechanisms.

Dr. Pedro José Alcolea
Dr. Ana Alonso
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vaccines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Leishmania
  • Vaccines, immune response assessment
  • Antigen presentation, lymphoblastic proliferation
  • Cytokines, evasion mechanisms
  • Nitric oxide resistance
  • Antigens, vaccine candidates, and adjuvants
  • Parasite burden
  • Clinical signs, diagnosis
  • Immunoinformatics, genomics
  • Therapeutic vaccines, industrial development.

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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