Skip to content

Understanding the Spread of Skin Parasites in Leishmania Donovani Infection


Paul Kaye

Professor Paul Kaye

Professor of Immunology



About the research

The research focuses on understanding how parasites from the Leishmania donovani complex, which cause a disease called visceral leishmaniasis, spread within the skin of the host.

The researchers used a type of parasite that naturally glows to track its movement and spread within the skin.

They also used image analysis and spatial point pattern models, methods commonly used in ecology, to study the spread of these parasites. 

Industry application

This research was conducted in the field of immunology and infectious diseases, with a focus on parasitology.

Study findings

The researchers found that after the initial infection, the parasites are found in clusters within certain cells of the immune system, called myeloid cells. These clusters resemble innate granulomas, which are small areas of inflammation in tissue.

The parasites then spread from these initial clusters by infecting other myeloid cells that are recruited to the site of infection. This leads to the formation of a network of parasite-infected cell clusters. 


Doehl JSP, Ashwin H, Brown N, Romano A, Carmichael S, Pitchford JW, Kaye, PM. Spatial Point Pattern Analysis Identifies Mechanisms Shaping the Skin Parasite Landscape in Leishmania donovani Infection. Front Immunol. 2021;12. DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.795554

Contact us

We welcome enquiries about collaborating with us.