Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Veterinary Pathology

First Advisor

Christine A. Petersen

Second Advisor

Amy Andreotti


Leishmania amazonensis is an intracellular protozoan parasite responsible for

chronic cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). CL is a neglected tropical disease responsible

for infecting millions of people worldwide. L. amazonensis promotes alteration of

various signaling pathways that are essential for host cell survival. Specifically, through

parasite-mediated phosphorylation of extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK), L.

amazonensis inhibits cell-mediated parasite killing and promotes its own survival by coopting

multiple host cell functions. In this review we highlight Leishmania-host cell

signaling alterations focusing on those specific to 1) motor proteins, 2) prevention of

NADPH subunit phosphorylation impairing reactive oxygen species production (ROS),

and 3) localized endosomal signaling to up-regulate ERK phosphorylation. This review

will focus upon mechanisms and possible explanations as to how Leishmania spp.

evades the various layers of defense employed by the host immune response by looking at scaffolding complexes, reactive oxygen species, and motor proteins.

Copyright Owner

Pedro Martinez



File Format


File Size

151 pages