Naomi E. Aronson M.D.

Naomi E. Aronson M.D.

Name: Naomi E. Aronson M.D.

Department of Primary Appointment: Dept. of Medicine
Position: USU Faculty
Title: Professor & Director, Infectious Diseases Division

Email: (link sends e-mail)
Office Phone: (301) 295-5895
Fax Number: (301) 301-0680


Research: Translational aspects related to leishmaniasis

The objective of my laboratory is to bridge laboratory discovery in the immunology of the parasite Leishmania to clinically develop an effective human vaccine for the prevention of leishmaniasis, and improve the treatment of this neglected tropical disease.  Leishmaniasis is an infection of military deployment to endemic regions causing various syndromes, cutaneous, mucosal and visceral.  It is transmitted by the bite of an infected sand fly; there are no available vaccines or chemoprophylaxis to protect against this infection. Thousands of active cases have resulted from Iraq and Afghanistan deployment and the infection is thought to remain persistent during clinical latency. Current projects include exploration of novel antigens derived from the vector saliva, use of transcutaneous immunization to expand mucosal immune responses, determination of virulence factors in cutaneous leishmaniasis comparing parasites causing severe to mild infection isolated from military patients, planned clinical trials of new leishmaniasis vaccines in humans, and surveillance/new diagnostic methods for determination of latent infection in humans.


 In addition, my laboratory performs clinical trial research in tuberculosis, specifically molecular diagnosis of drug resistance in SubSaharan Africa, and is planning a randomized trial of BCG vaccine to prevent infection in at- risk travelers.

Leishmaniasis Lesion Promastigote Parasites

On the left is a cutaneous leishmaniasis lesion, on the right are Giemsa stained promastigote parasites

Selected publications

  • Aronson N, Wortmann G, Johnson S et. al.  Safety and efficacy of intravenous sodium stibogluconate in the treatment of leishmaniasis: recent U.S. military experience.  Clin Infect Dis 1998.  27:1457-64
  • Wortmann G, Aronson NE, Miller RS, Blazes D, Oster CN.  Cutaneous leishmaniasis following local trauma: a clinical pearl.  Clin Infect Dis 2000.31(1):199-210
  • Wortmann G, Miller RS, Oster CN, Jackson J, Aronson N.  A randomized, double blinded study of the efficacy of a ten or twenty day course of Sodium stibogluconate (Pentostam) for the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis in U.S. servicemen.  Clin Infect Dis 2002; 35(3):261-7
  • Aronson NE, Santosham M, Comstock G, Howard R, Moulton L, Rhoades E, Harrison LH.  Long term efficacy of BCG vaccine in American Indians and Alaska natives: a 60 year followup. JAMA. 2004. 
  • 291(17):2086-91
  • Weina P, Neafie R, Wortmann G, Polhemus M, Aronson N.  Old World Leishmaniasis: an emerging infection among deployed U.S.military and civilian workers. Clin Infect Dis. 2004. 39(1):1674-80
  • Aronson NE, Sanders JW, Moran KA. In Harm’s Way: Infections of the Deployed U.S. Military Force, Clin Infect Dis. 2006. 43(8): 1045-51
  • Aronson N.  Leishmaniasis in American Soldiers: Parasites from the Front. In: Emerging Infections 7. Ed. M.Scheld, D. Hooper, J. Hughes. ASM press, Washington DC. 2007
  • Aronson N, Wortmann G, Byrne W, Howard R, Bernstein W, Marovich M, Yoon IK, Polhemus M, Gasser R, Hummer K, Oster C, Benson P.  A randomized controlled trial of local heat therapy versus intravenous sodium stibogluconate for the treatment of cutaneous Leishmania major infection. PLoS Trop Neg Dis 2010. 4(3):e628
  • Kortepeter M, Seaworth B, Tasker S, Burgess T, Coldren R, Aronson N. Healthcare Worker/Researcher Travelers to Developing World Clinical Settings: Disease Transmission Risk and Mitigation. Clin Infect Diseases. 2010. 51911):1298-1305.
  • Aronson N. Treatment of cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis. In :UptoDate, Basow, DS (Ed), UpToDate,Waltham MA, 2012. 
  • Aronson N. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis. In :UptoDate, Basow, DS (Ed), UpToDate,Waltham MA, 2012. 
  • Aronson N. Epidemiology and control of cutaneous leishmaniasis. In:UptoDate, Basow, DS (Ed), UpToDate,Waltham MA, 2012.