Microarray based gene expression: a novel approach for identification and development of potential drug and effective vaccine against visceral Leishmaniasis

Awanish Kumar, Abhik Sen, Pradeep Das


Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) is the well-recognized infectious disease among the complex of Leishmaniasis (cutaneous, mucocutaneous, visceral) in tropical and subtropical countries. Treatments for VL are unsatisfactory till date and alarming rise of drug resistance is a serious problem. Vaccines to control VL have shown some promise, but none are in current clinical use. Therefore, urgent needs for new and effective anti-leishmanials are pre-requisite. To identify the potential factors, DNA microarray an advance, high throughput technology, has open the possibility of discovering new genes that can contribute to vaccine initiatives or serve as potential drug targets. It has been successfully applied to many of the protozoan parasites and identified some new genes as targets. Target discovery is the key step in the biomarker and drug discovery pipeline to diagnose. After the completion of genome sequencing of Leishmania major and L. infantum, advancement in microarray technologies provide new approaches to study the pattern of gene expression profile during differentiation and development of parasite. It has the potential to improve our understanding of pathogenicity, mechanism of drug resistance and virulence factors by identifying up/down regulated gene and characterizing the respective gene expression. Keeping these backgrounds in mind, we reviewed the data obtained from genome-wide wide expression profiling in Leishmania that focuses on applications of microarray in novel vaccine/drug targets discovery for VL and discuss the potential avenues for their future investigation. Ultimately this will be able to translate the findings into the development of novel therapeutic approaches and targets for VL.

Keywords: Visceral Leishmaniasis, Microarray, Stage-specific, Gene expression profiling, Gene discovery, Novel vaccine/drug targets


Visceral Leishmaniasis; Microarray; Stage-specific; Gene expression profiling; Gene discovery; Novel vaccine; drug targets

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