Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology of Trypanosomatids

Our research is focused on studying the correlation between intrinsic factors of the parasite Leishmania (genotype, virulence, pathogenicity in the host, etc.) and the clinical manifestations of tegumentary leishmaniasis. The use of a murine model of intradermal infection with Leishmania spp. in the mouse ear dermis deserves special mention as it closely resembles the clinical outcome observed in the human host. Furthermore, we continuously seek to develop molecular tools with clinical utility in the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with leishmaniasis. There is an ongoing production and evaluation of a single domain monoclonal antibody for the detection of Leishmania braziliensis, the main causative agent of cutaneous and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis in Latinamerica. 


Research lines

  • Development of molecular and serological diagnostic tools for tegumentary leishmaniasis, with potential application under field conditions in endemic settings  
  • Study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that allow the survival of the intracellular parasite Leishmania in in vitro and in vivo infection models
  • Dermal model of infection in the mouse ear dermis, for the study of the cellular immune response to infection with Leishmania (Viannia) species, as well as the parasite susceptibility to drugs and natural products
  • Evaluation of the antigenic capacity of molecules from Leishmania
  • Characterization of the cellular and humoral immune profiles of patients with active or cured lesions of cutaneous leishmaniasis, and of asymptomatic individuals exposed to Leishmania infection 



Laboratory Coordinator


arevalo   Jorge Arévalo Zelada, Dr. Sc.

Research Group:

  • Vanessa Adaui Sicheri, Ph.D.
  • Marlene Jara Portocarrero, MSc. 
  • Javier Enciso Benavides, B.Vet.Med.
  • Allison Aroni Soto, BSc.
  • Karina del Rosario Cancino Maldonado, BSc.
  • Gerson Córdova Serrano, Q.F.
  • Milagros Suárez Palacios, BSc.
  • Andrés Guillén Samander, alumno 
  • Lenna Cordero Mallaupoma, alumna

Collaboration and Funding


More recent projects


  • Knowledge and tools for the control of infectious diseases and community-based interventions.2014-2016. Programa FA3-III. Agencia DGD (Cooperación Belga al Desarrollo).
  • Leishmaniasis vaccines: protective immune profile evoked by T-cell epitopes designed through immunoinformatics. Agosto 2013 – Septiembre 2015. TWAS (La Academia Mundial de Ciencias).
  • Institutional Collaboration with the Instituto de Medicina Tropical "Alexander von Humboldt" (IMTAvH) in Lima, Peru: from generation to dissemination of knowledge and practice. 2008-2013. Programa FA3-I/II. DGD (Cooperación Belga al Desarrollo). 
  • In vitro susceptibility tests for phenotyping oxidative stress tolerance in Leishmania braziliensis clinical isolates. Mayo 2013 – Agosto 2014. FA3 Strategic Network on Neglected Diseases and Zoonoses (SNNDZ), DGD.
  • Estudio de la carga de Leishmania en distintas zonas de las lesiones ulcerativas: hacia una mejora de la sensibilidad del diagnóstico de leishmaniasis cutánea. Mayo 2012 – Diciembre 2013. Fondo Concursable UPCH 2011.
  • A quantitative, comparative study of Leishmania parasite load in tissue samples of tegumentary leishmaniasis patients from Bolivia and Peru: Is parasite load associated to the clinical manifestations of tegumentary leishmaniasis (cutaneous or mucosal disease)? Enero 2012 – Abril 2013. FA3 SNNDZ, DGD.
  • Pre-clinical studies of a PSA-based human vaccine candidate targeting visceral, cutaneous and mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis and development of the associated procedures for further clinical trials [RAPSODI].2009 – 2012. Comisión Europea – FP7.

Most relevant publications



Molecular diagnosis of Leishmania infection by conventional PCR targeting the kDNA of Leishmania (Viannia) spp

Contact info


Address: IMTAvH, 1er piso “Lab.C”

Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia

Av. Honorio Delgado 262

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


Phone: +511 319 0000 anexo 2717


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.