Ocular toxoplasmosis: More than just what meets the eye
Vallochi, A. L.
Nakamura, M. V.
Martins, Maria Cristina [UNIFESP]
Belfort, Rubens Junior [UNIFESP]
Rizzo, L. V.
Is part ofScandinavian Journal of Immunology
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Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite whose life cycle may include the man as an intermediate host. Close to a billion people are infected with this parasite worldwide. Ocular lesions may occur in up to 25% of those individuals infected. the infection may occur intra-uterus, through the placenta when the mother is infected during pregnancy. the parasite may also infect adults after the ingestion of contaminated food products. most notably meats or water. We have shown that although congenital and post-natal (acquired) infection results in similar ocular lesions, the immunological mechanisms behind the development of disease are different. On the other hand, contrary to published data obtained in mice, we were unable to find evidence that the T. gondii express superantigen activity for human lymphocytes. Our findings are important because they suggest that superantigen activity is not important as a pathological mechanism in human disease. Our data also suggest that, whereas the ocular lesion caused by infection after birth is the result of an excessive or dysfunctional immune response, the lesions caused by congenital infection may be due to a lack of an appropriate response to the parasite.
CitationScandinavian Journal of Immunology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, v. 55, n. 4, p. 324-328, 2002.
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