Esther von Stebut-Borschitz - assoc. RG

Skin immune defense mechanisms against cutaneous leishmaniasis

Abstract

Our lab focuses on studying the immune defense mechanisms against murine and human cutaneous leishmaniasis, initiated by infections with the protozoan parasite Leishmania major (L. major). Current projects concentrate on studying the DC subtypes involved in defense mechanisms, the interaction of DC with T cells (antigens recognized, T cell subsets involved), and the role of additional myeloid cells for immune regulation (mast cells, monocytes/macrophages). Finally, using so-called 'humanized mouse models', translation of basic research findings into the clinical setting is central. Understanding the details of immunity against the parasite will aid not only basic research in skin immunity against various pathogens and in chronic inflammatory processes, but will also aid the development of a vaccine against this important human pathogen.

Clinical/medical relevance and sustainability in disease understanding

Leishmaniasis is among the top then most frequent infectious diseases worldwide with ~12 Mio. infected individuals. The parasite is endemic in (sub)tropical regions on the globe and is transmitted by the bite of a sand fly. Disease manifestation ranges from cutaneous, limited disease, to disseminated, recurrent forms and finally to visceral leishmaniasis. Untreated, the latter is life threatening. Treatment options range from antimons, liposomal amphotericin B, and miltefosine, to topical treatment, some of which have severe side effects. A vaccine is not yet available, even though T cell-mediated memory responses protect against re-infection with the same parasite subspecies.


Prof. Dr. Esther von Stebut-Borschitz

Dept. of Dermatology / RG location - LFI Building

Prof. Dr. Esther von Stebut-Borschitz
Publications - Esther von Stebut-Borschitz

Link to PubMed