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Discovery of Antimicrobial Resistance mechanisms in Kinetoplastids


The DARK pillar represents a groundbreaking initiative aimed at unraveling the complex mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in kinetoplastid parasites, which are responsible for high-impact diseases such as Leishmaniasis, or Chagas Disease. This research endeavor stands at the forefront of global health, addressing the urgent need to combat the rising threat of drug resistance in these debilitating and often deadly diseases.


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Investigating the role of Nano-sized Extracellular VesiclEs in drug RESisTance in protozoan diseases. The project aims to enhance understanding of the role of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in cell communication, host-pathogen interactions, and antimicrobial resistance, particularly in the context of Malaria, Leishmaniasis, and Chagas Disease.

Key Objectives

  • Exploring EVs biogenesis and content packaging.

  • Investigating the development of parasitic AMR mediated by EVs.

  • Studying host and parasite factors underlying treatment failure.

  • Developing EV-signature profiles for early detection of infections and AMR.


Funding Sources

  • International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)



  • Martin Olivier, McGill University, Canada

  • David Langlais, McGill University, Canada

  • Duah Quashie Nancy Odurowah, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana (Co-Pi)

  • Neta Regev-Rudzki , Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel (Co-Pi)

  • Igor Almeida, University of Texas, El Paso, USA

  • Ana Claudia Trocoli Torrecilhas, Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), Brazil

Unveiling Novel EV-mediated Mechanisms in Leishmania Resistance

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This research focuses on Leishmania parasites and their survival mechanisms against antimicrobials. It particularly investigates the role of Leishmania extracellular vesicles in genetic exchange and propagation of drug-resistance factors.


Key Objectives

  • Characterizing Leishmania EVs from drug-resistant parasites.

  • Investigating the role of Leishmania EVs in genetic exchange among parasites.

  • Identifying potential novel biomarkers and developing diagnostic tools.


Funding Sources

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)



  • Martin Olivier, McGill University Health Centre (Co-Pi)

  • Igor Almeida, University of Texas, El Paso

  • Javier Moreno, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain

  • Nathan Peters, The Calvin, Phoebe & Joan Snyder Institute, Calgary

Decoding AMR and Fitness Compensatory Mechanisms in protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania

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This project delves into the mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the fitness compensatory behaviors in Leishmania parasites.


Key Objectives

  • Investigating AMR mechanisms against specific drugs through advanced genomic techniques.

  • Understanding the molecular and cellular basis for Leishmania dormancy and survival under drug resistance.

  • Examining the reversibility of AMR and its implications for parasite vulnerability under varied stress conditions.


Funding Sources

  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

EV Leish resitance
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