i3S-Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal.
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is mainly caused by Leishmania donovani (India and East Africa), and Leishmania infantum (Mediterranean Basin and South America) infections. Although murine models of visceral infection lack the clinicopathological aspects of VL in humans, they have been proven useful at advancing our knowledge in the Leishmania field. Indeed, these models have been used not only to better understand the pathophysiology of the infection but also in drug and vaccine development. This chapter focuses on the protocols used to experimentally infect mice and to quantify parasite burdens in mice infected with L. infantum using limiting dilution methodology of target organs and whole-mouse in vivo imaging.
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