AIMS Microbiology, 2020, 6(2): 152-161. doi: 10.3934/microbiol.2020010

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Study of therapeutic effect of different concentrations of imatinib on Balb/c model of cutaneous leishmaniasis

1 Skin Diseases and Leishmaniasis Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2 Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan
3 Department of Dermatology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
4 Department of Biostatistics & Epidemiology, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
5 Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran
6 Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Leishmaniasis, as a tropical and subtropical disease, is endemic in more than 90 countries around the world. Today, cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) that affects more than 1.5 million people per year lacks a definitive treatment approach. Imatinib is an anticancer drug that inhibits the abnormal function of Bcr-Abl due to its tyrosine kinase inhibitor, and that was the reason why the drug was tested for CL treatment because protein kinases are essential enzymes in the Leishmania genus. In this study, the L. major CL model of Balb/c mice was produced by injection of the cultured metacyclic form of parasite at the base of the tail. The possible recovery of CL ulcers and determination of the optimum dose of imatinib against Leishmania amastigotes were evaluated. A significant decrease was observed in mice treated with amphotericin B (positive control group) as well as imatinib 50 mg/kg compared to the unreceived drug, negative control group (P<0.05). This study could be promising in gaining insight into the potential of imatinib as an effective treatment approach against CL.
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