Microbes Infect. 2006 Dec 6; [Epub ahead of print]
Age-dependent impairment of functional helper T cell responses to immunodominant epitopes of Toxoplasma gondii antigens in congenitally infected individuals.
Guglietta S, Beghetto E, Spadoni A, Buffolano W, Del Porto P, Gargano N.
Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Rome "La Sapienza", Via dei Sardi 70, 00185 Rome, Italy.
Human infection with Toxoplasma gondii is generally asymptomatic in immunocompetent adults while it causes significant morbidity in congenitally infected children. Cell mediated immunity plays the main role in host resistance to T. gondii infection and a Th1 cytokine profile is necessary for protection and control of infection. The present work focused on comparing the helper T cell response to the GRA1 antigen of the parasite between children with congenital toxoplasmosis and healthy adults with acquired infection. We demonstrated that in young children with congenital infection the specific T cell response to parasite antigens is impaired and that such hypo-responsiveness is restored during childhood. Also, we provided clear evidence that in individuals with congenital toxoplasmosis the acquisition of functional helper T cell responses is disease-unrelated and indistinguishable in terms of strength, epitope specificity, and cytokine profile from the corresponding responses in immunocompetent adults with asymptomatic acquired T. gondii infection.
PMID: 17223600 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]