Immunodominance: a new hypothesis to explain parasite escape and host/parasite equilibrium leading to the chronic phase of Chagas' disease?

Immunodominance: a new hypothesis to explain parasite escape and host/parasite equilibrium leading to the chronic phase of Chagas' disease?

Author Rodrigues, Mauricio Martins Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Alencar, Bruna Cunha Gondim de Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Claser, Carla Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Tzelepis, Fanny Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Institution Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Abstract Intense immune responses are observed during human or experimental infection with the digenetic protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The reasons why such immune responses are unable to completely eliminate the parasites are unknown. The survival of the parasite leads to a parasite-host equilibrium found during the chronic phase of chagasic infection in most individuals. Parasite persistence is recognized as the most likely cause of the chagasic chronic pathologies. Therefore, a key question in Chagas' disease is to understand how this equilibrium is established and maintained for a long period. Understanding the basis for this equilibrium may lead to new approaches to interventions that could help millions of individuals at risk for infection or who are already infected with T. cruzi. Here, we propose that the phenomenon of immunodominance may be significant in terms of regulating the host-parasite equilibrium observed in Chagas' disease. T. cruzi infection restricts the repertoire of specific T cells generating, in some cases, an intense immunodominant phenotype and in others causing a dramatic interference in the response to distinct epitopes. This immune response is sufficiently strong to maintain the host alive during the acute phase carrying them to the chronic phase where transmission usually occurs. At the same time, immunodominance interferes with the development of a higher and broader immune response that could be able to completely eliminate the parasite. Based on this, we discuss how we can interfere with or take advantage of immunodominance in order to provide an immunotherapeutic alternative for chagasic individuals.
Keywords Chagas' disease
Trypanosoma cruzi
Major histocompatibility complex
Language English
Sponsor Millennium Institute for Gene Therapy
Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP)
Grant number FAPESP: 2006/1983-4||FAPESP: 2003/09675-9
FAPESP: 2003/09672-0
FAPESP: 2004/110106-6
CNPq: 420067/2005-1
CNPq: 307151/2006-9
Date 2009-03-01
Published in Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research. Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica, v. 42, n. 3, p. 220-223, 2009.
ISSN 0100-879X (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica
Extent 220-223
Access rights Open access Open Access
Type Article
Web of Science ID WOS:000264200100001
SciELO ID S0100-879X2009000300001 (statistics in SciELO)

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