Consequences of the natural propensity of Leishmania and HIV-1 to target dendritic cells

Trends Parasitol. 2007 Jul;23(7):317-24. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2007 May 24.


Recent studies have shown that both Leishmania and HIV type-1 (HIV-1) hijack dendritic cell (DC) functions to escape immune surveillance using an array of elaborate strategies. Leishmania has developed a variety of adaptations to disrupt cellular defense mechanisms, whereas HIV-1 targets DCs to achieve a more efficient dissemination. The capacity of Leishmania and HIV-1 to target DCs through a common cell-surface molecule, namely DC-SIGN (dendritic cell specific ICAM-3-grabbing non-integrin), points to a possible dangerous liaison between these two pathogens. This review explores our knowledge of how Leishmania and HIV-1 interact dynamically with DCs, and how they exploit this cell type for their reciprocal benefit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / immunology
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / parasitology*
  • Dendritic Cells / virology*
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / parasitology
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Leishmania infantum / immunology*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / immunology*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / virology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / parasitology
  • T-Lymphocytes / virology


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cytokines
  • Receptors, Cell Surface