Advancement in leishmaniasis diagnosis and therapeutics: An update

Eur J Pharmacol. 2021 Nov 5;910:174436. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2021.174436. Epub 2021 Aug 21.


Leishmaniasis is regarded as a neglected tropical disease by World Health Organization (WHO) and is ranked next to malaria as the deadliest protozoan disease. The primary causative agents of the disease comprise of diverse leishmanial species sharing clinical features ranging from skin abrasions to lethal infection in the visceral organs. As several Leishmania species are involved in infection, the role of accurate diagnosis becomes pivotal in adding new dimensions to anti-leishmanial therapy. Diagnostic methods must be fast, reliable, easy to perform, highly sensitive, and specific to differentiate among similar parasitic diseases. Herein, we present the conventional and recent approaches impended for the disease diagnosis and their sensitivity, specificity, and clinical application in parasite detection. Furthermore, we have also elaborated various new methods to cure leishmaniasis, which include host-directed therapies, drug repurposing, nanotechnology, and combinational therapy. This review addresses novel techniques and innovations in leishmaniasis, which can aid in unraveling new strategies to fight against the deadly infection.

Keywords: Amphotericin B; Diagnosis; Drug repurposing; Host-directed therapy; Leishmaniasis; Nanotechnology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / chemistry
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures
  • Humans
  • Leishmania / drug effects
  • Leishmaniasis / diagnosis*
  • Leishmaniasis / drug therapy*
  • Nanotechnology


  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Amphotericin B