CD8+ T Cell Responses to Plasmodium and Intracellular Parasites
Nicolas Villarino and Nathan W. Schmidt
Affiliation: Department of Microbiology, M409 Walters Life Sciences, 1414 W. Cumberland Ave., Knoxville, TN 37996, USA.
Keywords: CD8+ T cell, immunity, Leishmania, malaria, Plasmodium, protozoa, Toxoplasma, Trypanosoma.
Parasitic protozoa are major threats to human health affecting millions of people around the world. Control of
these infections by the host immune system relies on a myriad of immunological mechanisms that includes both humoral
and cellular immunity. CD8+ T cells contribute to the control of these parasitic infections in both animals and humans.
Here, we will focus on the CD8+ T cell response against a subset of these protozoa: Plasmodium, Toxoplasma gondii,
Leishmania and Trypanosoma cruzi, with an emphasis on experimental rodent systems. It is evident a complex interaction
occurs between CD8+ T cells and the invading protozoa. A detailed understanding of how CD8+ T cells mediate protection
should provide the basis for the development of effective vaccines that prevent and control infections by these parasites.
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