Profiling inflammatory response in lesions of cutaneous leishmaniasis patients using a non-invasive sampling method combined with a high-throughput protein detection assay

Yasaman Taslimi, Christopher Agbajogu, Siggeir Fannar Brynjólfsson, Nasrin Masoudzadeh, Vahid Mashayekhi, Safoora Gharibzadeh, Malin Östensson, Sravya Sowdamini Nakka, Amir Mizbani, Sima Rafati*, Ali M. Harandi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is an infection caused by Leishmania (L.) protozoa transmitted through the bite of infected sand fly. Previously, invasive sampling of blood and skin along with low throughput methods were used for determination of inflammatory response in CL patients. Aims/Methodology: We established a novel approach based on a non-invasive adhesive tape-disc sampling combined with a powerful multiplexing technique called proximity extension assay for profiling 92 inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and surface molecules in the lesions of CL patients infected with L. tropica. Sample collection was done non-invasively by using adhesive tape-discs from lesion and normal skin of 33 L. tropica positive patients. Results: Out of 92 inflammatory proteins, the level of 34 proteins was significantly increased in the lesions of CL patients compared to their normal skin. This includes the chemokines CCL2, CCL3, CCL4, CXCL1, CXCL5, CXCL9, CXCL10 and CXCL11, together with the interleukins IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, LIF and OSM. The remaining significantly changed inflammatory proteins include 7 surface molecules and receptors: CD5, CD40, CDCP1, 4E-BP1, TNFRSF9, IL-18R1 and OPG as well as 16 other cytokines and proteins: MMP-1, CSF-1, VEGFA, uPA, EN-RAGE, LAP TGF-β1, HGF, MMP-10, CASP-8, TNFSF14, STAMPB, ADA, TRAIL and ST1A1. Further, 13 proteins showed an increasing trend, albeit not statistically significant, in the CL lesions, including TGF-α, CCL23, MCP-2, IL-12B, CXCL6, IL-24, FGF-19, TNFβ, CD6, TRANCE, IL10, SIR2 and CCL20. Conclusion: We herein report a novel approach based on a non-invasive sampling method combined with the high-throughput protein assay for profiling inflammatory proteins in CL lesions. Using this approach, we could profile inflammatory proteins in the lesions from CL patients. This new non-invasive approach may have implications for studying skin inflammatory mediators in CL and other skin disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number155056
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska Curie grant agreement N° 778298 , and Iran National Science Foundation grant ID 940007 to SR. YT is supported by a Ph.D student grant from Pasteur Institute of Iran (grant ID TP-9566 ).

Funding Information:
AMH is supported by European Commission under the VASA, SHIGETECVAX consortia, the Innovative Medicines Initiative, European Commission under the VSV-EBOPLUS consortium.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Other keywords

  • Cutaneous leishmaniasis
  • Inflammation biomarkers
  • Non-invasive sampling
  • Proximity extension assay
  • Sníklar
  • Sníklasjúkdómar
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous
  • Parasitic Diseases


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