Pharmacometabolomics of meglumine antimoniate in patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis

Deninson Alejandro Vargas, Miguel Dario Prieto, Alvaro José Martínez-Valencia, Alexandra Cossio, Karl E.V. Burgess, Richard J.S. Burchmore, María Adelaida Gómez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Control of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in the Americas is dependent on chemotherapy with parenteral pentavalent antimonials. High rates of treatment failure urge the search for predictive and prognostic markers of therapeutic responsiveness. In this study, we aimed to identify biomarkers of therapeutic response during treatment with meglumine antimoniate (MA). We conducted untargeted metabolomic profiling of plasma samples from CL patients (n = 39; 25 who cured and 14 who did not cure), obtained before and at the end of treatment. Exposure to MA induced metabolic perturbations primarily reflecting alteration in long-chain fatty acid β-oxidation and energy production. Allantoin, N-acetylglutamine, taurine, and pyruvate were significantly more abundant in samples from patients who responded to treatment, and were predictive and prognostic of treatment outcome in this patient cohort (AUC > 0.7). In an ex vivo model of infection, allantoin but not taurine enhanced the MA-dependent killing of intracellular Leishmania (Viannia) panamensis. Our results support the participation of metabolites mediating antioxidant and wound healing responses in clinical cure of CL, revealing relationships between metabolism and immune responses in the outcome of antileishmanial treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number657
JournalFrontiers in pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2019


  • allantoin
  • biomarkers
  • cutaneous leishmaniasis
  • meglumine antimoniate
  • pharmacometabolomics
  • taurine


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