Serological signatures of clinical cure following successful treatment with sodium stibogluconate in Ethiopian visceral leishmaniasis

Cytokine. 2017 Mar;91:6-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2016.11.016. Epub 2016 Dec 8.


Background: In Ethiopia, visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a growing public health threat. Among the key challenges in VL control in Ethiopia is lack of an effective test of cure. The recommended test of cure is parasite detection. As sterile cure is not expected with the current widely used drugs, the value of parasite detection as test of cure is questionable. Moreover, the sampling is invasive, requires a well-equipped facility and highly skilled personnel, which are all hardly found in endemic set-ups.

Objective: Our aim was to assess the value of sCD40L, MMP9 and IL-10 serum levels as signature biomarkers of clinical cure in VL cases from Ethiopia.

Methods: A total of 45 VL cases before and after treatment and 30 endemic healthy controls were included in the study. Sandwich ELISA was used to measure serum levels of sCD40L, MMP9 and IL-10.

Result: The mean sCD40L, MMP9 and IL-10 serum levels changed significantly at clinical cure. At individual case level sCD40L and MMP9 showed an increasing trend. Yet, the degree of increase in serum level of MMP9 seems to be affected by nutritional status of the individual VL case. The mean IL-10 serum level was significantly reduced at clinical cure. As seen on case by case basis, all demonstrated a declining trend except that two VL cases had a high IL10 level at clinical cure.

Conclusion: Our result is suggestive of the possibility of developing a signature biomarker to monitor VL treatment in Ethiopia using one or a combination of parameters.

Keywords: Interleukin ten; Matrix metalloproteinase nine; Signature biomarker; Soluble CD40 ligand; Visceral leishmaniasis treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antimony Sodium Gluconate / administration & dosage*
  • CD40 Ligand / blood*
  • Ethiopia
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / blood*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral* / blood
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral* / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / blood*


  • IL10 protein, human
  • Interleukin-10
  • CD40 Ligand
  • MMP9 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Antimony Sodium Gluconate