Partner 8 – Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)

ISCIII, Madrid, Spain, is a national research and scientific support organization responsible for promoting biomedical and health science research. Its mission is to develop and provide the highest quality scientific-technical services to the National Healthcare System (NHS) and society in general. The Institute works closely with NHS research centres authorises institutes and cooperative research networks in order to contribute to a structuring research in the NHS. The National Centre of Microbiology (NCM), within the ISCIII, is dedicated to research of most human infectious diseases. Diagnostic of infectious agents is carried out as a service to the NHS. It is the national reference centre for zoonosis. The Department of Parasitology, within NCM, consists of six units conducting biomedical research on a range of parasitic diseases.

The Medical Entomology Unit headed by Dr. Molina is mainly focused in the study of Leishmania – sand fly relationship, the ecology of sand fly vectors of leishmaniasis and the vector control mainly studying the efficacy of insecticides against Phlebotomus perniciosus. The Unit works in close collaboration with the WHO Collaborating Centre for Leishmaniasis of the ISCIII. The team consists of two researchers, Ricardo Molina and María Isabel Jiménez, two PhD students and a technician. They study mainly the immunogenic properties of sand fly saliva, proteomics, and the impact of the global change on the spread of leishmaniasis. Part of the research group is involved in the European project EDEN (Emerging Diseases in a Changing European eNvironment), Leishmaniasis subproject. As part of this research, the group has obtained some interesting results: the prevalence of canine leishmaniasis in the central region of Spain is increasing and the patterns of distribution of the potential vectors of the disease are changing.

In EDENext ISCIII is one of the partners of PhBD subgroup. Part of its activity will concern vector competence and Leishmania – vector interactions. Our interest will be focused on experimental studies on susceptibility of sand flies to Leishmania, effect of temperature on Leishmania development, and studies of anti-sand fly saliva antibodies as a tool for monitoring sand fly-host contact. It will participate in the field studies on the potential for introduction of L. tropica into Spain, the distribution and seasonal dynamics of sand fly species of subgenus Larroussius and in studies on sand fly biology and control.

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