Leishmania pp 303-314 | Cite as

Syrian Hamster as an Advanced Experimental Model for Visceral Leishmaniasis

  • María Dolores Jiménez-Antón
  • Montserrat Grau
  • Ana Isabel Olías-Molero
  • José Mª AlundaEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1971)


Animal models are needed along the development and evaluation of potential chemotherapeutic agents against leishmaniasis. Infections of Syrian hamsters with Leishmania species causing visceral leishmaniasis (VL) closely mimic the disease in the natural hosts, including target organs, lesions, and clinical course. Therefore, despite some shortcomings (e.g., genetic background, price, and scarcity of reagents), it is probably the best laboratory rodent model of VL. However, handling of hamsters can be technically challenging because of their particular anatomy. Here, we describe in detail four different routes to establish an experimental VL in the hamster model using Leishmania promastigotes and amastigotes. Each route requires various manipulations and has different benefits and drawbacks. Choice of the most suitable route should be made by the researcher in accordance with the specific plan and purpose of the study.

Key words

Leishmania Visceral leishmaniasis Hamster Experimental infection Intraperitoneal Intracardiac Retro-orbital Intradermic Promastigotes Amastigotes 



This work has been partially funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development, and demonstration under grant agreement no. 603240 (NMTrypI—New Medicines for Trypanosomatidic Infections). Collaboration with Evidence-Based Advisors (P + 3A) is acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Dolores Jiménez-Antón
    • 1
    • 2
  • Montserrat Grau
    • 2
  • Ana Isabel Olías-Molero
    • 1
    • 2
  • José Mª Alunda
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Animal Health, ICPVet Research Group, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Instituto de Investigación Hospital 12 de OctubreMadridSpain

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