Leishmania and Malaria Research Unit

The research group was established in 1984. It is a center for diagnosis, treatment, research and training for health personnel who work with the Estrategia Sanitaria de Prevención y Control de Enfermedades Metaxénicas del HNCH and Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory of IMT, in order to perform multidisciplinary research studies on leishmaniasis. That allow us to a better understandment of this disease that affects mainly poor, rural population that generally receive little support from the Peruvian government. The purpose of this Unit is to provide solutions in both the treatment and prevention of this disease. The novelty of this research unit is that it enables integrated collaborative work with scientists from the clinical area, field research, as well as professionals from the basic sciences (molecular biology, genetics, immunology, etc.), including also the search for solutions on the UTA in the country.




Laboratory Coordinator:

llanos Dr. Alejandro Llanos Cuentas

Research team:

  • Dra. Ana Pilar Ramos Tito
  • Dra. Fiorella Yuly Alvarez Moreno
  • Dr. Martin Casapia Morales
  • Lic. Sonia Torres Andrade
  • Lic. Evelin Blas Castillo
  • Lic. Diana Guzman Lavado


Collaboration and Funding

•Instituto  de  Investigación Enfermedades Infecciosas (IDRI)    

•Walter Reed Army Medical Center

•Cooperación Belga

•Naval  Medical  Research  Unit-6, US Navy (NAMRU-6)

•Hospital  Universitario  “Toronto General”, University Health Network

•Universidad de Tulane, EUA

•Universidad de McGill, Canadá

•Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

•National Institutes of Health (NIH), EUA

•Universidad  de  San  Diego California, EUA

•Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS) 

•Ministerio de Salud Pública

Dirección  de  Salud  de  Loreto, Dirección de Salud de Ucayali

Gobierno Regional de Loreto

Recent Projects

  • DNDI# DNDi-MILT-07-CL: Randomized, open level, multicentric trial to determine the efficacy and safety of thermotherapy combined with a short period of miltefosine for the treatment of uncomplicated leishmaniasis of the New World
  • LRDD-PERU-02: Evaluation of a rapid diagnostic device, CL Detect Rapid Test, for the diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Perú
  • CONCYTEC Peru: Towards the elimination of malaria in Peru
  • FONDECYT Peru: Serovigilance tools for the detection of Plasmodium vivax infections and the monitoring of efforts for the control and elimination of malaria in Amazonian countries
  • NIH – USA   DMID 17-0037: Transmission dynamics for residual and re-emerging malaria in the Amazon Basin: defining routes to malaria elimination


Relevant Publications

  • Alejandro Llanos-Cuentas, Martin Casapia, Raúl Chuquiyauri, Juan-Carlos Hinojosa, Nicola Kerr, Maria Rosario, Stephen Toovey, et al. Antimalarial activity of single-dose DSM265, a novel plasmodium dihydroorotate dehydrogenase inhibitor, in patients with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum or Plasmodium vivax malaria infection: a proof-of-concept, open-label, phase 2a study. Lancet Infect Dis 2018. Published Online June 13, 2018. PMID: 29909069
  • White, S. E., Harvey, S. A., Meza, G., Llanos, A., Guzman, M., Gamboa, D., & Vinetz, J. M. Acceptability of a herd immunity-focused, transmission-blocking malaria vaccine in malaria-endemic communities in the Peruvian Amazon: an exploratory study. Malaria Journal. 2018;17:179. PMID: 29703192
  • Soto-Calle V, Rosas-Aguirre A, Llanos-Cuentas A, Abatih E, DeDeken R, Rodriguez H, Rosanas-Urgell A, Gamboa D, D Alessandro U, Erhart A, Speybroeck N. Spatio-temporal analysis of malaria incidence in the Peruvian Amazon Region between 2002 and 2013. Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 16;7:40350. doi: 10.1038/srep40350. PubMed PMID: 28091560; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5238441
  • Gabriel Carrasco-Escobar, Julio Miranda-Alban, Carlos Fernandez-Minope, Kimberly C. Brouwer, Katherine Torres, Maritza Calderon, Dionicia Gamboa, Alejandro Llanos-Cuentas, and Joseph M. Vinetz. High prevalence of very-ow Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax parasitaemia carriers in the Peruvian Amazon: insights into local and occupational mobility-related transmission. Malar J. (2017) 16:415. PMID: 29037202
  • Hans-Peter Beck, Rahel Wampfler, Nick Carter, Gavin Koh, Lyda Osorio, Ronnatrai Rueangweerayut, Srivcha Krudsood, Marcus V. Lacerda, Alejandro Llanos–Cuentas, Stephan Duparc, Justin P. Rubio, Justin A. Green. Estimation of tafenoquine anti-relapse efficacy using Plasmodium vivax genotyping. J.Infec.Dis. 2016 Mar 1;213(5):794-9. PMID: 26500351
  • Rosas-Aguirre A, Erhart A, Llanos-Cuentas A, Branch O, Berkvens D, Abatih E, Lambert P, Frasso G, Rodriguez H, Gamboa D, Sihuincha M, Rosanas-Urgell A, D’Alessandro U, Speybroeck N. Modelling the potential of focal screening and treatment as elimination strategy for Plasmodium falciparum malaria in the Peruvian Amazon Region. Parasit Vectors. 2015 May;8(1):261. PMID: 25948081.
  • Rosas-Aguirre A, Speybroeck N, Llanos A, Rosanas A, Carrasco G, Rodriguez H, et al. Hotspots of malaria transmission in the Peruvian Amazon: rapid assessment through a parasitological and serological survey. PLoS One 2015,10(9):e0137458. PMID: 26356311.
  • Rosas-Aguirre A, Ponce OJ, Carrasco-Escobar G, Speybroeck N, Contreras-Mancilla J, Gamboa D, Pozo E, Herrera S, Llanos-Cuentas A. Plasmodium vivax malaria at households: spatial clustering and risk factors in a low endemicity urban area of the northwestern Peruvian coast. Malar J. 2015 Apr 24;14:176. PMID: 25903826
  • Llanos-Cuentas A, Lacerda MV, Rueangweerayut R, Krudsood S, Gupta SK, Kochar SK, Arthur P, Chuenchom N, Möhrle JJ, Duparc S, Ugwuegbulam C, Kleim J-P, Carter N, Green JA, Kellam L. Tafenoquine plus chloroquine for the treatment and relapse prevention of Plasmodium vivax malaria (DETECTIVE): a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, phase 2b dose-selection study. Lancet Lond Engl. 2014 Mar 22;383(9922):1049–58. PMID: 24360369.
  • William R. Ravis, Alejandro Llanos-Cuentas, Nestor Sosa, Mara Kreishman-Deitrick, Karen M.Kopydlowski, Carl Nielsen, Kirsten S. Smith, Philip L. Smith, Janet H. Ransom, Yuh-Jing Lin, Max Grogl. Pharmacokinetics and Absorption of Paromomycin and Gentamicin from Topical Creams Used To Treat Cutaneous Leishmaniasis. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy Sep 2013, 57 (10) 4809-4815. PMID: 23877689
  • Braulio M. Valencia, David Miller, Richard S. Witzing, Andrea K. Boggild, Alejandro Llanos-Cuentas. Novel low-cost thermotherapy for cutaneus leishmaniasis in Peru. PLOS Negl Trop Dis 2013 May 2, 7(5):e 2196. PMID: 23658851
  • Rosas-Aguirre A, Llanos-Cuentas A, Speybroeck N, Cook J, Contreras-Mancilla J, Soto V, Gamboa D, Pozo E, Ponce OJ, Pereira MO, Soares IS, Theisen M, D'Alessandro U, Erhart A. Assessing malaria transmission in a low endemicity area of north-western Peru. Malar J. 2013 Sep 22;12:339
  • Grietens KP1, Muela Ribera J, Soto V, Tenorio A, Hoibak S, Aguirre AR, Toomer E, Rodriguez H, Llanos Cuentas A, D'Alessandro U, Gamboa D, Erhart A. Traditional nets interfere with the uptake of long-lasting insecticidal nets in the Peruvian Amazon: the relevance of net preference for achieving high coverage and use. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e50294
  • Valencia C, Arévalo J, Dujardin JC, Llanos-Cuentas A, Chappuis F, Zimic M. Prediction score for antimony treatment failure in patients with ulcerative leishmaniasis lesions. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012;6(6):e1656
  • Van den Eede P, Soto-Calle VE, Delgado C, Gamboa D, Grande T, Rodriguez H, Llanos-Cuentas A, Anné J, D’Alessandro U, Erhart A. Plasmodium vivax sub-patent infections after radical treatment are common in Peruvian patients: results of a 1-year prospective cohort study. PloS One. 2011;6(1):e16257. PMID: 21297986.
  • Boggild AK, Valencia BM, Veland N, Pilar Ramos A, Calderon F, Arevalo J, Low DE, Llanos-Cuentas A. Non-invasive cytology brush PCR diagnostic testing in mucosal leishmaniasis: superior performance to conventional biopsy with histopathology. PloS One. 2011;6(10):e26395. (17 citations). PMID: 22046280.
  • Llanos-Cuentas A, Calderón W, Cruz M, Ashman JA, Alves FP, Coler RN, Bogatzki LY, Bertholet S, Laughlin EM, Kahn SJ, Beckmann AM, Cowgill KD, Reed SG, Piazza FM. A clinical trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the LEISH-F1+MPL-SE vaccine when used in combination with sodium stibogluconate for the treatment of mucosal leishmaniasis. Vaccine. 2010 Oct 28;28(46):7427–35. PMID: 20851080.
  • Boggild AK, Valencia BM, Espinosa D, Veland N, Ramos AP, Arevalo J, Llanos-Cuentas A, Low DE. Detection and species identification of Leishmania DNA from filter paper lesion impressions for patients with American cutaneous leishmaniasis. Clin Infect Dis Off Publ Infect Dis Soc Am. 2010 Jan 1;50(1):e1–6. PMID: 19947858.
  • Davies CR., Llanos-Cuentas A., Campos P., Monge J., León E. & Canales J. Spraying houses in the Peruvian Andes with lambda-cyhalothrin protects residents against cutaneous leishmaniasis. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 94: 631 – 636, 2000. PMID: 11198646
  • Llanos-Cuentas E.A., Echevarria J., Cruz M., La Rosa A., Campos P., Campos M., Franke E.D., Berman J.D. & Marr J.J. Efficacy of sodium stibogluconate alone and in combination with allopurinol in the treatment of mucocutaneous leishmaniasis. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 25: 677–684, 1997. PMID: 9314461
  • Davies CR, Llanos-Cuentas EA, Pyke SD, Dye C. Cutaneous leishmaniasis in the Peruvian Andes: an epidemiological study of infection and immunity. Epidemiol Infect. 1995 Apr;114(2):297–318. (73 citations). PMID: 7705493
  • Llanos A, Cieza J, Bernardo J, Echevarria J, Biaggioni I, Sabra R, Branch RA. Effect of salt supplementation on amphotericin B nephrotoxicity. Kidney Int. 1991 Aug;40(2):302–8. PMID: 1942779.

Contact Information


IMTAvH, 1er piso.

Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia.

Av. Honorio Delgado 262

Urb. Ingeniería, San Martin de Porres. Lima - Perú.


  • 51-1-382-0338
  • 51-1-482-7739

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