Central role of interleukin-15 in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with visceral leishmaniasis

Acta Trop. 2006 Aug;99(1):83-7. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2006.08.002. Epub 2006 Sep 11.


To evaluate clinical and immunological parameters, interleukin (IL)-15 production and outcome of patients with visceral leishmaniasis (VL), including HIV positive patients, we analyzed 48 cases of VL. Clinical manifestations and response to therapy were similar in VL/HIV- and VL/HIV+ patients. However, relapses were more frequent in patients with HIV infection. Low levels of IL-15 concentrations were found in HIV+ patients without VL. These levels were comparable to concentrations obtained in healthy donors. We found a relationship between response to therapy and IL-15 levels. We found increased levels of IL-15 in VL/HIV- and VL/HIV+ patients with clinical and parasitological response to therapy. Our data demonstrate that VL in HIV-infected patients occurs in subjects with severe immunodeficiency and presents high rate of relapses. Low levels of IL-15 in illness patients and restored production in cured persons suggest that this cytokine could play a central role in immune responses during Leishmania/HIV co-infection.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Antimony / therapeutic use
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • HIV / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / parasitology*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-15 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-15 / immunology*
  • Leishmania / immunology*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / drug therapy
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / immunology*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / virology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male


  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Interleukin-15
  • liposomal amphotericin B
  • Amphotericin B
  • Antimony