Gert Van der Auwera

Gert Van der Auwera
Institute of Tropical Medicine | ITM · Department of Biomedical Sciences

PhD

About

182
Publications
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Publications

Publications (182)
Article
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(200) Objectives Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Asia, Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa is mainly caused by Leishmania major and Leishmania tropica. We describe and evaluate the treatment outcome of CL among travellers and migrants in Europe. Methods A retrospective study of parasitological confirmed CL cases caused by L. major and L. tropica duri...
Article
Full-text available
Background Surveillance of human leishmaniasis in Europe is mostly limited to country-specific information from autochthonous infections in the southern part. As at the end of 2021, no integrated analysis has been performed for cases seen across centres in different European countries. Aim To provide a broad perspective on autochthonous and import...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is frequent in travellers and can involve oro-nasal mucosae. Clinical presentation impacts therapeutic management. Methodology: Demographic and clinical data from 459 travellers infected in 47 different countries were collected by members of the European LeishMan consortium. The infecting Leishmania speci...
Article
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Introducción: Dentro de la familia Trypanosomatidae hay dos géneros de importancia médica por su papel como patógenos humanos, Trypanosoma y Leishmania. Dentro de estos géneros se encuentran especies y subespecies causantes de la leishmaniasis, la tripanosomiasis americana y la tripanosomiasis africana humana. Objetivos: En este estudio investigamo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background In the endgame of the elimination initiative of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) on the Indian subcontinent, one of the main questions remaining is whether asymptomatically infected individuals also contribute to transmission. We piloted a minimally invasive microbiopsy device that could help answer this question. While the potential of this...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Species-directed therapy of leishmaniasis has been recommended for travelers since 2014, but little is known about species distribution and treatment practices in non-endemic countries. We aimed to describe leishmaniasis cases in Belgium since species typing became available and evaluate its impact on patient management. Method: Retr...
Article
Introduction La leishmaniose tégumentaire (LT) est une dermatose du voyageur responsable d’atteintes cutanées et/ou muqueuses. La zone d’acquisition et la présentation clinique très hétérogènes influencent le choix du traitement. Le risque d’atteinte muqueuse est classiquement décrit chez les patients infectés en Amérique Latine et rarement considé...
Conference Paper
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LeishMan group presents, leishmania cases diagnosed in Europe. Collection of cases from the different countries included in Leishmania.
Conference Paper
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Background: Tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL), a frequent and heterogeneous dermatological infection in travellers, can spread from the skin to oral mucosae. Clinical presentation impacts therapeutic management. Materials/methods: From 2006 through 2019, the LeishMan consortium collected precise demographic and clinical data on 464 episodes of TL in 4...
Preprint
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We identified visceral leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania donovani in a previously unknown focus in northern Somalia. Clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of 118 cases during 2013–2019 in Bosaso, the region’s commercial capital, have raised suspicion of visceral leishmaniasis endemicity status there.
Article
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Background In endemic regions, asymptomatic Leishmania infection is common. In HIV patients, detection of asymptomatic Leishmania infection could potentially identify those at risk of visceral leishmaniasis (VL). However, data on the prevalence, incidence, and determinants of asymptomatic infection, and the risk of VL are lacking. Methods We condu...
Article
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Background: Ochollo is a village in southern Ethiopia burdened with cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), where Phlebotomus pedifer is the only vector for Leishmania aethiopica and hyraxes are confirmed reservoir hosts. A detailed description of the different players of transmission, and the ecology and seasonality of the vector needs to be established in...
Article
Full-text available
Leishmania aethiopica is the main causative species for cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Ethiopia. Despite its considerable burden, L. aethiopica has been one of the most neglected Leishmania species. In this review, published evidence on L. aethiopica history, geography, vector, reservoir, epidemiology, parasitology, and immunology is discussed and...
Article
Full-text available
In rural areas in Morocco, diagnosing cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) can be challenging. We evaluated the accuracy of a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) based on antigen detection, CL Detect Rapid Test™ (Inbios International Inc., Seattle, WA), in this setting. We consecutively recruited patients with new skin ulcers in nine primary health centers. We too...
Article
Full-text available
Background Leishmaniasis is a protozoan disease caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania, transmitted to humans by sandflies. The diagnosis of leishmaniasis is often challenging as it mimics many other infectious or malignant diseases. The disease can present in three ways: cutaneous, mucocutaneous, or visceral leishmaniasis, which rarely occur...
Article
Full-text available
Leishmaniasis is highly prevalent in New World countries, where several methods are available for detection and identification of Leishmania spp. Two hsp70-based PCR protocols (PCR-N and PCR-F) and their corresponding restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) were applied for detection and identification of Leishmania spp. in clinical sample...
Article
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Background: We designed a straightforward method for discriminating circulating Leishmania populations in the Indian subcontinent (ISC). Research on transmission dynamics of visceral leishmaniasis (VL, or Kala-azar) was recently identified as one of the key research priorities for elimination of the disease in the ISC. VL in Bangladesh,India, and N...
Data
Detailed information of all studied strains. The MS Excel file contains detailed information on geographic origin, treatment regimens, and genotyping from all 204 disease episodes analyzed in this study. (XLS)
Data
Year and district-wise distribution of L. donovani genotypes. For each year and per district, the number of isolates is given. The 7 disease episodes from patients from whom the same genotype was recovered in the first and second episode were not counted, as these probably do not represent new infections. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
Leishmaniasis is endemic in southern Europe, and in other European countries cases are diagnosed in travellers who have visited affected areas both within the continent and beyond. Prompt and accurate diagnosis poses a challenge in clinical practice in Europe. Different methods exist for identification of the infecting Leishmania species. Sixteen c...
Article
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Immunologically, active visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is characterized by profound immunosuppression, severe systemic inflammatory responses, and an impaired capacity to control parasite replication. Neutrophils are highly versatile cells, which play a crucial role in the induction as well as the resolution of inflammation, the control of pathogen re...
Article
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Trypanosome evolution was so far essentially studied on the basis of phylogenetic analyses of small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU-rRNA) and glycosomal glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) genes. We used for the first time the 70 kDa heat-shock protein gene (hsp70) to investigate the phylogenetic relationships among 11 Trypanosoma species...
Article
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Introduction: Leishmaniasis is highly prevalent in Colombia, where at least six different species can cause disease of varying clinical presentations in humans. The identification of the infecting species is quite important for prognosis, therapeutics and epidemiology. Different techniques with variable discriminatory power have been used for the...
Article
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Introducción. La leishmaniasis es una enfermedad de alta prevalencia en Colombia, donde al menos seis especies diferentes pueden causar una variada presentación clínica en el humano. La tipificación de la especie es importante no solo desde el punto de vista epidemiológico, sino en el diagnóstico, dado que el tratamiento y el esquema de tratamiento...
Conference Paper
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Introducción. El género Leishmania agrupa un número de especies que pueden causar diversas enfermedades en el hombre. Las proteínas de choque térmico (en inglés HSP) son relevantes para el ambiente fisiológico celular, protegen sus proteínas de la agregación y mantienen la viabilidad en diversas condiciones de estrés. El análisis combinado de secue...
Article
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In the Indian subcontinent, Visceral leishmaniasis is endemic in a geographical area coinciding with the Lower Gangetic Plain, at low altitude. VL occurring in residents of hill districts is therefore often considered the result of Leishmania donovani infection during travel. Early 2014 we conducted an outbreak investigation in Okhaldhunga and Bhoj...
Article
Leishmania is an infectious protozoan parasite related to African and American trypanosomes. All Leishmania species that are pathogenic to humans can cause dermal disease. When one is confronted with cutaneous leishmaniasis, identification of the causative species is relevant in both clinical and epidemiological studies, case management, and contro...
Article
Full-text available
Objetivos. Explorar una nueva diana para el diagnóstico molecular de Leishmania. Materiales y métodos. Se evaluó la utilidad del gen que codifica la proteína de choque térmico de 20kDa (hsp20) para la detección de Leishmania por medio de la reacción en cadena de la polimerasa (PCR).Se normalizó la PCR y se determinaron los parámetros analíticos, as...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Explore a new target for molecular diagnosis of Leishmania. Materials and methods: We evaluated the utility of the gene that encodes the heat shock protein 20-kDa (Hsp20) for detecting Leishmania by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR was normalized and analytical parameters were determined, as well as the validity and diagnostic ac...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is critical for appropriate management since confirmatory diagnosis and identification of causative species are recommended due to differences in parasite pathogenicity and drug sensitivity. Smear examination has a poor sensitivity even under expert examiners whereas identification of species is nowadays im...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is critical for appropriate management since confirmatory diagnosis and identification of causative species are recommended due to differences in parasite pathogenicity and drug sensitivity. Smear examination has a poor sensitivity even under expert examiners whereas identification of species is nowadays im...
Article
Full-text available
Background Cutaneous leishmaniasis is caused by several Leishmania species that are associated with variable outcomes before and after therapy. Optimal treatment decision is based on an accurate identification of the infecting species but current methods to type Leishmania isolates are relatively complex and/or slow. Therefore, the initial treatmen...
Article
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Several genetic markers have been described for discriminating Leishmania species. In most reported cases, one or a few polymorphisms are the basis of species identification, and the methods were validated on a limited number of strains from a particular geographical region. Thereby most techniques may underestimate the global intra-species variabi...
Article
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Differential diagnosis of infection with Trypanosoma cruzi or T. rangeli is relevant for epidemiological studies and clinical practice as both species infect humans, but only T. cruzi causes Chagas' disease. Their common antigen determinants complicate the distinction between both species, while current PCR assays used for differentiation show some...
Article
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We describe Leishmania species determination on clinical samples on the basis of partial sequencing of the heat-shock protein 70 gene (hsp70), without the need for parasite isolation. The method is especially suited for use in non-endemic infectious disease clinics dealing with relatively few cases on an annual basis, for which no fast high through...
Article
The Leishmania genus comprises up to 35 species, of which 20 are responsible for human disease. However, the taxonomic status for many of them is under discussion. The small Heat Shock Proteins (sHSPs) are physiologically relevant, protecting cellular proteins from aggregation and maintaining cellular viability under intensive stress conditions. In...
Conference Paper
The hsp70 gene has been exploited for Leishmania species identification in the New and Old World, using PCR followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. Recently, three new variants were developed by our group in order to improve the sensitivity and specificity of the hsp70 PCR using alternative PCR primers and RFLPs for de...
Article
Full-text available
Earlier histopathology studies suggest that parasite loads may differ between cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) and mucosal leishmaniasis (ML) lesions and between acute and chronic CL. Formal demonstration requires highly sensitive detection and accurate quantification of Leishmania in human lesional tissue. In this study, we developed a quantitative re...
Article
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SUMMARY Leishmaniasis, like other neglected diseases is characterized by a small arsenal of drugs for its control. To safeguard the efficacy of current drugs and guide the development of new ones it is thus of utmost importance to acquire a deep understanding of the phenomenon of drug resistance and its link with treatment outcome. We discuss here...
Article
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Objectives: Recent epidemiological reports indicate that asymptomatic human infections with Leishmania donovani, the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis or Kala-azar (KA), occur frequently in India. We explored markers of infection. Methods: Blood samples were collected from 286 healthy subjects from 16 villages in the Muzaffarpur district...
Article
Full-text available
The heat-shock protein 70 gene (hsp70) has been exploited for Leishmania species identification in the Old and New World, using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Three new Leishmania-specific hsp70 PCRs were recently described, and we applied 2 of these on 89 clinical samples from a total...
Article
Full-text available
We performed diagnosis and species identification of parasites in lesion samples from suspected cutaneous leishmaniasis patients in four villages, three of which are in a known Leishmania tropica endemic region in Kenya. Samples were analyzed both by microscopy and PCR for Leishmania, and typed by an assay using four ribosomal DNA-based species-ide...
Data
Gives a schematic overview of the recommended RFLP scheme for all identified groups
Data
Lists all reference strains and isolates used for the study, with WHO codes. Strains used for the wet and in silico analyses are indicated, as well as accession numbers of the hsp70 sequences
Article
In order to get more insight into its evolution and geographical distribution, we investigated the Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis species complex using amplified fragment length polymorphisms and sequencing of a heat-shock protein 70 gene fragment. Previously, several assays had alluded to the high genetic diversity of the group, and single-locu...
Article
Full-text available
We present an algorithm based on three PCR assays for Leishmania (Viannia) species identification and assessed its performance using 70 specimens from Peruvian patients. The succession of the assayed targets can be ordered according to species prevalence. Sequential progression through the algorithm reduced the number of samples here studied by app...
Article
Full-text available
The heat-shock protein 70 gene (hsp70) has been exploited for Leishmania species identification in the New and Old World, using PCR followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. Current PCR presents limitations in terms of sensitivity, which hampers its use for analyzing clinical and biological samples, and specificity, whic...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
INTRODUCTION Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) is a vector-borne disease, affecting up to 1.5 million persons annually in tropical and sub-tropical regions worldwide. In most endemic areas like Peru, several Leishmania species coexist. There, five species have been reported, where L. (Viannia) braziliensis, L. (V.) peruviana and L. (V.) guyanensis are t...
Article
Full-text available
Most of the Leishmania genome is reported to be constitutively expressed during the life cycle of the parasite, with a few regulated genes. Inter-species comparative transcriptomics evidenced a low number of species-specific differences related to differentially distributed genes or the differential regulation of conserved genes. It is of uppermost...
Article
Natural hybridization events have been demonstrated between closely and distantly related Leishmania groups despite a predominantly clonal and endogamically sexual mode of reproduction. Here we report the first natural hybrid between Leishmania aethiopica and Leishmania donovani, as evidenced from the analysis of several clones from strain MHOM/ET/...
Article
Diversity, phylogenetic, and population genetic studies of the genus Leishmania, causative agent of leishmaniasis, nowadays generally involve multilocus microsatellite and multilocus sequence typing. Even though these are well established and useful applications, amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) can provide complementary information....
Article
In this letter, we discuss the basis for a reviewed taxonomy of the Leishmania genus and the practical implications for typing in different clinical or research settings.
Conference Paper
Leishmania species identification is currently performed based on PCR assays because their high sensibility made them useful on clinical samples. Different targets are used to identify Viannia species but there is no consensus methodology described. We present an algorithm based on a three target PCR strategy that can discriminate specifically betw...
Article
We report here nine unusual cases of Kala-azar, of which parasites were isolated and found by 18S rRNA gene sequencing to be most similar to Leptomonas species. One of these isolates was used to inoculate Balb/c mice; organs were collected and directly submitted to a genus-specific rDNA-ITS1 PCR analysis: this revealed the presence of both Leptomon...