In a previous immunogenicity and efficacy study in mice, montanide ISA 720 (MISA) was indicated to be a better adjuvant than bacillus calmette guerin vaccine (BCG) for a Leishmania vaccine. In the present study, we report the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of Leishmania donovani (L. donovani) sonicated antigen delivered with alum-BCG (AlBCG), MISA or monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) in vervet monkeys following intradermal inoculums. Vaccinated and control animals were challenged with virulent L. donovani parasites and the parasitic burden was determined. Only animals vaccinated with alum-BCG adversely reacted to the inoculum by produc-ing ulcerative erythematous skin indurations. Non-parametric ANOVA followed by a post test showed signifi-cantly higher IgG antibodies, and revealed the presence of lymphoproliferative and interferon gamma responses in both AlBCG+Ag and MISA+Ag as compared to the MPLA+Ag or other groups (P < 0.001). We conclude that L. donovani sonicated antigen containing MISA is safe and is associated with protective immune response against Leishmania donovani infection in the vervet monkey model.