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Leishmania Interactions with Macrophages

We also developed Drosophila models for infection with the protozoan parasite Leishmania amazonensis and used these models to illuminate new aspects of the parasite-host interaction, in insects and mammals. Using adult flies and a targeted RNAi screen, we identified CD36-like scavenger receptors for their critical role in the response to this parasite. We followed this discovery by characterizing the role of CD36 in mouse macrophage, and we are currently focused on understanding how CD36 regulates parasitophorous vacuole biogenesis. In second approach, we used a Drosophila cell model of Leishmania infection to perform a genome-wide RNAi screen and are characterizing hits from this screen in both Drosophila and mammalian systems.