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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of gamma interferon and T cells in congenital Toxoplasma transmission.

In the BALB/c mouse model, primary infection with Toxoplasma gondii during the second third of gestation leads to a high percentage of infected foetuses. However, immunity induced by infection contracted before pregnancy prevents parasites from crossing the placenta and completely protects the foetuses, as well as the pregnant women. In order to clarify the roles of CD4+, CD8+ T lymphocytes and IFN-gamma in this protection, pregnant BALB/c mice were treated with depleting monoclonal antibodies against CD4, CD8, IFN-gamma, or control antibody. Only the foetuses of the groups treated with anti-CD8 and anti-IFN-gamma antibodies developed congenital toxoplasmosis. The maternal production of IFN-gamma was depressed in the mice depleted of CD4 and CD8 cells (P < 0.001). Determination of the blood parasite load demonstrated that materno-foetal transmission of T. gondii correlates with maternal parasitaemia. Together, these results show that CD8+ T lymphocytes and IFN-gamma play an important role in protection against congenital toxoplasmosis during reinfection.[1]


  1. Role of gamma interferon and T cells in congenital Toxoplasma transmission. Abou-Bacar, A., Pfaff, A.W., Letscher-Bru, V., Filisetti, D., Rajapakse, R., Antoni, E., Villard, O., Klein, J.P., Candolfi, E. Parasite Immunol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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