Sodium stibogluconate resistance in Leishmania donovani correlates with greater tolerance to macrophage antileishmanial responses and trivalent antimony therapy
Antimony Sodium Gluconate
Co-treatment of mice infected with different strains of Leishmania donovani with a non-ionic surfactant vesicle formulation of buthionine sulfoximine (BSO-NIV), and sodium stibogluconate (SSG), did not alter indicators of Th1 or Th2 responses but did result in a significant strain-independent up-regulation of IL6 and nitrite levels by stimulated splenocytes from treated mice compared to controls. The efficacy of BSO-NIV/SSG treatment was dependent on the host being able to mount a respiratory burst indicating that macrophages are important in controlling the outcome of treatment. In vitro studies showed that SSG resistance was associated with a greater resistance to killing by activated macrophages, treatment with hydrogen peroxide or potassium antimony tartrate. Longitudinal studies showed that a SSG resistant (SSG-R) strain was more virulent than a SSG susceptible (SSG-S) strain, resulting in significantly higher parasite burdens by 4 months post-infection. These results indicate that SSG exposure may favour the emergence of more virulent strains.