Unicellular eukaryotic pathogen Leishmania donovani, an intra-macrophage protozoan parasite, on exposure to phagolysosome conditions (PC) of mammalian macrophages, show increased cAMP level and cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) resulting in resistance to macrophage oxidative burst. In order to have a comprehensive understanding of cAMP signaling and their contribution to infectivity, studies were carried out on all the enzymes associated with cAMP metabolism such as adenylate cyclase, phosphodiesterase, pyrophosphatase and the regulatory and catalytic subunits of PKA. This chapter deals in detail the contribution of these components of cAMP signaling in cAMP homeostasis of the parasite as well as their role on successful host-parasite interaction leading to intracellular parasite survival and establishment of infection. Finally, a discussion is made about how these observations might be exploited for developing drug candidates targeting parasite specific features.
Part of the book: Vector-Borne Diseases