Publications by authors named "Juan Victor San Martin"

6 Publications

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Leishmaniasis: A new method for confirming cure and detecting asymptomatic infection in patients receiving immunosuppressive treatment for autoimmune disease.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2021 Aug 2;15(8):e0009662. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

WHO Collaborating Centre for Leishmaniasis, National Centre for Microbiology, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Majadahonda (Madrid), Spain.

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in patients receiving immunosuppressant drugs for autoimmune disease has been on the rise. It is important-but difficult-to know when cure has been achieved in these patients since the withdrawal of immunosuppressants during antileishmania treatment is commonly required, and there is a risk of relapse when immunosuppression is restored. The prevalence of asymptomatic infection among those immunosuppressed for autoimmune disease is also uncertain. The present work describes how cytokine release assays can be used to confirm the cure of VL, and to determine the prevalence of asymptomatic infection, in such patients. After collection of blood from volunteers (n = 108), SLA-stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures and of whole blood was found to induce the production of different combinations of cytokines that served to confirm recovery from VL, and asymptomatic Leishmania infection. Indeed, cure was confirmed in 14 patients, all of whom showed a specific Th1 immune response against Leishmania, and the prevalence of asymptomatic infection was determined as 21.27%. Cytokine profiles could be used to manage VL in patients with autoimmune disease, and to identify and better protect those with asymptomatic infection who are at risk of developing this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0009662DOI Listing
August 2021

Role of asymptomatic and symptomatic humans as reservoirs of visceral leishmaniasis in a Mediterranean context.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2020 04 23;14(4):e0008253. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, Geneva, Switzerland.

Background: In the Mediterranean basin, Leishmania infantum is the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), a zoonosis in which the dog is the primary domestic reservoir, although wildlife may have a leading role in the sylvatic cycle of the disease in some areas. Infections without disease are very frequent. There is limited information regarding the role that VL patients and asymptomatic infected individuals could be playing in the transmission of L. infantum. Xenodiagnosis of leishmaniasis has been used in this descriptive study to explore the role of symptomatic and asymptomatic infected individuals as reservoirs in a recent focus of leishmaniasis in southwestern Madrid, Spain.

Methodology And Main Findings: Asymptomatic blood donors (n = 24), immunocompetent patients who were untreated (n = 12) or treated (n = 11) for visceral leishmaniasis (VL), and immunocompromised patients with VL (n = 3) were enrolled in the study. Their infectivity to Phlebotomus perniciosus was studied by indirect xenodiagnosis on peripheral blood samples. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction of blood samples from immunocompetent patients untreated for VL and immunocompromised untreated, treated and under secondary prophylaxis for VL was performed. Antibodies against Leishmania were studied by indirect fluorescent antibody and rK39-immunochromatographic tests. A lymphoproliferative assay with a soluble Leishmania antigen was used to screen for leishmaniasis infection in the healthy population. Sixty-two xenodiagnostic tests were carried out and 5,080 sand flies were dissected. Positive xenodiagnosis was recorded in four patients, with different sand fly infection rates: 1 immunosuppressed HIV / L. infantum coinfected asymptomatic patient, 1 immunosuppressed patient with multiple myeloma and symptomatic active VL, and 2 immunocompetent patients with untreated active VL. All blood donors were negative for both xenodiagnosis and conventional PCR.

Conclusions / Significance: There is no consensus amongst authors on the definition of an 'asymptomatic case' nor on the tools for screening; we, therefore, have adopted one for the sake of clarity. Immunocompetent subjects, both infected asymptomatics and those treated for VL, are limited in number and appear to have no epidemiological relevance. The impact is limited for immunocompetent patients with untreated active VL, whilst immunosuppressed individuals undergoing immunosuppressive therapy and immunosuppressed individuals HIV / L. infantum coinfected were the most infectious towards sand flies. It is noteworthy that the HIV / L. infantum coinfected patient with asymptomatic leishmaniasis was easily infectious to sand flies for a long time, despite being under continuous prophylaxis for leishmaniasis. Accordingly, screening for latent Leishmania infection in HIV-infected patients is recommended in scenarios where transmission occurs. In addition, screening for VL in HIV-infected patients who have spent time in VL-endemic areas should also be implemented in non-endemic areas. More research is needed to better understand if some asymptomatic coinfected individuals contribute to transmission as 'super-spreaders'.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008253DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7200008PMC
April 2020

Asymptomatic immune responders to Leishmania among HIV positive patients.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2019 06 3;13(6):e0007461. Epub 2019 Jun 3.

WHO Collaborating Centre for Leishmaniasis, National Centre for Microbiology, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Majadahonda (Madrid), Spain.

Concomitant infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the Leishmania parasite is a growing public health problem, the result of the former spreading to areas where the latter is endemic. Leishmania infection is usually asymptomatic in immunocompetent individuals, but the proportion of HIV+ individuals in contact with the parasite who remain asymptomatic is not known. The aim of the present work was to examine the use of cytokine release assays in the detection of asymptomatic immune responders to Leishmania among HIV+ patients with no previous leishmaniasis or current symptomatology. Eighty two HIV+ patients (all from Fuenlabrada, Madrid, Spain, where a leishmaniasis outbreak occurred in 2009) were examined for Leishmania infantum infection using molecular and humoral response-based methods. None returned a positive molecular or serological result for the parasite. Thirteen subjects showed a positive lymphoproliferative response to soluble Leishmania antigen (SLA), although the mean CD4+ T lymphocyte counts of these patients was below the normal range. Stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) or whole blood with SLA (the lymphoproliferative assay and whole blood assay respectively), led to the production of specific cytokines and chemokines. Thus, despite being immunocompromised, HIV+ patients can maintain a Th1-type cellular response to Leishmania. In addition, cytokine release assays would appear to be useful tools for detecting these individuals via the identification of IFN-γ in the supernatants of SLA-stimulated PBMC, and of IFN-γ, MIG and IL-2 in SLA-stimulated whole blood. These biomarkers appear to be 100% reliable for detecting asymptomatic immune responders to Leishmania among HIV+ patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007461DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6564048PMC
June 2019

Cytokine Release Assays as Tests for Exposure to Leishmania, and for Confirming Cure from Leishmaniasis, in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2015 23;9(10):e0004179. Epub 2015 Oct 23.

WHO Collaborating Centre for Leishmaniasis, Centro Nacional de Microbiologia, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.

Spain has one of the world's largest pools of organ donors and is a global leader in terms of the number of transplants it performs. The current outbreak of leishmaniasis in Fuenlabrada (in the southwest of the region of Madrid, Spain) has involved 600 clinical cases since late 2009 (prevalence 0.2%). It may therefore be wise to monitor the town's transplanted population for Leishmania infantum; its members are immunosuppressed and at greater risk of infection and relapse following treatment. The present work examines the use of cytokine release assays to determine the prevalence of Leishmania infection in this population, and to confirm recovery following treatment for visceral leishmaniasis (VL). The humoral and cellular immune responses to L. infantum were characterized in 63 solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients from Fuenlabrada, 57 of whom reported no previous episode of VL (NVL subjects), and six of whom had been cured of VL (CVL subjects). Seventeen subjects (12 NVL and 5 CVL) showed a patent lymphoproliferative response to soluble Leishmania antigen (SLA). Stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures and of whole blood with SLA led to the production of different combinations of cytokines that might serve to confirm Leishmania infection or recovery from VL and help prevent cured patients from relapsing into this serious condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0004179DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4619795PMC
March 2016

Epidemiological changes in leishmaniasis in Spain according to hospitalization-based records, 1997-2011: raising awareness towards leishmaniasis in non-HIV patients.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2015 Mar 10;9(3):e0003594. Epub 2015 Mar 10.

National Centre for Tropical Medicine, Health Institute Carlos III (ISCIII in Spanish), Madrid, Spain.

In Spain, Leishmania infantum is endemic, human visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis cases occurring both in the Peninsula, as well as in the Balearic Islands. We aimed to describe the clinical characteristics of leishmaniasis patients and the changes in the disease evolution after the introduction of antiretroviral therapy in 1997. In this descriptive study, we used Spanish Centralized Hospital Discharge Database for the hospitalized leishmaniasis cases between 1997 and 2011. We included in the analysis only the records having leishmaniasis as the first registered diagnosis and calculated the hospitalization rates. Disease trend was described taking into account the HIV status. Adjusted odds-ratio was used to estimate the association between clinical and socio-demographic factors and HIV co-infection. Of the total 8010 Leishmaniasis hospitalizations records, 3442 had leishmaniasis as first diagnosis; 2545/3442 (75.6%) were males and 2240/3442 (65.1%) aged between 14-65 years. Regarding disease forms, 2844/3442 (82.6%) of hospitalizations were due to visceral leishmaniasis (VL), while 118/3442 (3.4%) hospitalizations were cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). Overall, 1737/2844 of VL (61.1%) were HIV negatives. An overall increasing trend was observed for the records with leishmaniasis as first diagnosis (p=0.113). Non-HIV leishmaniasis increased during this time period (p=0.021) while leishmaniasis-HIV co-infection hospitalization revealed a slight descending trend (p=0.717). Leishmaniasis-HIV co-infection was significantly associated with male sex (aOR=1.6; 95% CI: 1.25-2.04), 16-64 years age group (aOR=17.4; 95%CI: 2.1-143.3), visceral leishmaniasis aOR=6.1 (95%CI: 3.27-11.28) and solid neoplasms 4.5 (95% CI: 1.65-12.04). The absence of HIV co-infection was associated with lymph/hematopoietic neoplasms (aOR=0.3; 95%CI:0.14-0.57), other immunodeficiency (aOR=0.04; 95% CI:0.01-0.32) and transplant (aOR=0.01; 95%CI:0.00-0.07). Our findings suggest a significant increase of hospitalization in the absence of HIV co-infection, with a predomination of VL. We consider that clinicians in Spain should be aware of leishmaniasis not only in the HIV population but also in non HIV patients, especially for those having immunosuppression as an associate condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003594DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4355586PMC
March 2015
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