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.