The trypanosomatid parasite of the genus leishmania is the etiological agent of a variety of disease manifestations, collectively known as Leishmaniasis. Leishmaniasis is prevalent throughout the tropical and sub-tropical regions of Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean, Southern Europe (old world) and South and Central America (new world). Despite enormous efforts, it has proved difficult to predict the exact scale of the impact of the Leishmaniasis on public health, since many cases go unreported or misdiagnosed. It is estimated that approximately 12 million people are currently infected and a further 367 million are at risk of acquiring leishmaniasis in 88 countries, 72 of which are developing countries and 13 of them are among the least developed in the world (WHO www site, 1997). Hence linking leishmaniasis to poverty, economic development and various environmental changes such as deforestation, urbanisation, migration of people into endemic areas and building of damns etc. The annual incidence rate is estimated to be 1-1.5 million cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis and 500,000 cases of visceral leishmaniasis, these are the two major clinical types of leishmaniasis (WHO www site, 1997).

Text Box: Research interests:
Membrane physiology and bioenergetics of the human pathogen Leishmania. 
Molecular mechanism of Leishmania differentiation.
Proteomics and transcriptomics of Leishmania development
Mechanisms of Leishmania resistance to heavy metals.

To contact us:

Tel. +972-4-8293117

email: danz@tx.technion.ac.il

Room 504

Faculty of Biology




Dan Zilberstein, Ph.D.
Professor of Microbiology





Recent Publications:

Darlyuk, I., Goldman A., Roberts, S.C., Ullman, B., Rentsch D. and Zilberstein, D. 2009. Arginine homeostasis and transport in the human pathogen Leishmania donovani. J. Biol. Chem. 284: 19800-19807.


Zilberstein, D. 2008. Physiological and biochemical aspects of Leishmania development. In: "Leishmania after the genome". Myler, P.J. and Fasel, N. eds. Caister Academic Press, pp. 107-122


Rosenzweig D, Smith D, Myler, P.J., Olafson RW, Zilberstein D. 2008. Posttranslational modification of cellular proteins during Leishmania donovani differentiation.

Proteomics 8: 1843-1850.


Rosenzweig D, Smith D, Opperdoes F, Stern S, Olafson RW, Zilberstein D. 2008. Retooling Leishmania metabolism: from sand fly gut to human macrophage. FASEB J. 22: 590-602.


Saxena, A., Tamar, L., Holland, N., Aggarwal, G., Anupama, A., Huang, Y., Volpin, H., Myler, P.J. and Zilberstein, D. 2007. Analysis of the Leishmania donovani transcriptome reveals an ordered progression of transient and permanent changes in gene expression during differentiation. Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. 152: 53-65.


Shaked-Mishan P, Suter-Grotemeyer M, Yoel-Almagor T, Holland N, Zilberstein D, Rentsch D. 2006. A novel high-affinity arginine transporter from the human parasitic protozoan Leishmania donovani. Mol. Microbiol. 60:30-38.


Barak E, Amin-Spector S, Gerliak E, Goyard S, Holland N, Zilberstein D. 2005. Differentiation of Leishmania donovani in host-free system: analysis of signal perception and response. Mol Biochem Parasitol. 141:99-108.


Akerman M, Shaked-Mishan P, Mazareb S, Volpin H, Zilberstein D. 2004. Novel motifs in amino acid permease genes from Leishmania. Biochem. Biophys. Res Commun. 325:353-366.


Ulrich N, Shaked P, Zilberstein D. 2000. Speciation of antimony(III) and antimony(V) in cell extracts by anion chromatography/inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

Fresenius J Anal Chem. 368(1):62-6.


Shaked-Mishan P, Ulrich N, Ephros M, Zilberstein D. 2001. Novel Intracellular SbV reducing activity correlates with antimony susceptibility in Leishmania donovani. J Biol Chem. 276(6):3971-6.


Mazareb, S., Zhung.Y. F, and D. Zilberstein. 1999. Developmental regulation of proline transport in Leishmania donovani. Exp.Parasitol 91:341-348.



Laboratory director

Phone: +972-4-8293647

Text Box: Technion
Israel Institute of Science
Text Box: Faculty of Biology
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Physiology and cell biology of the human parasitic protozoan Leishmania