History, Research, and Development


Although the geographical distribution of Leishmaniasis is limited to particular regions around the world, the public health burden caused by this multiform parasitic disease is significant. Leishmaniasis is endemic in 88 countries, and as such there is a sizable population of approximately 350 million individuals who are at risk of Leishmania sp. infection. Because of the global impact of this disease it is considered by the World Health Organization to be a major, albeit somewhat neglected, public health concern. As such, current measures to address this concern include advanced surveillance, development of technologies for rapid assessment, production of drugs for improved clinical treatment, and vector and animal reservoir control.

In addition to these important public health interventions there has also been an international endeavor to develop a multi-species Leishmania vaccine. At the present time there are no vaccines approved for general use, however, research and development is still underway. This website discusses the major steps that have been made along the way with respect to development of a Leishmania vaccine, highlights some of the progresses and challenges of this endeavor, and presents some of the most current information about vaccine development.