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Yale to study leishmaniasis

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2006 - Autumn


Yale researchers have received a $5.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for the study of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), a parasitic disease spread by the female sand fly.

The grant will support three projects in Colombia. The first will develop the infrastructure for clinical trials. The second will identify factors responsible for transmission as well as vector control measures. The third will study immunological responses to the parasite.

“With over 400 species of sand flies in the Americas alone and at least a dozen species of CL occurring all over the world, the epidemiology of leishmaniasis is complex,” said co-principal investigator Leonard E. Munstermann, Ph.D., senior research scientist in epidemiology (microbial diseases). “However, we believe that the current study in Colombia can become a sound epidemiological model for other endemic regions.”

The program is a collaboration with the Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Medicas in Cali, Colombia. Diane M. McMahon-Pratt, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology, is the co-principal investigator and the Yale program director on the grant.