Age-dependent impairment of functional helper T cell responses to immunodominant epitopes of Toxoplasma gondii antigens in congenitally infected individuals

Silvia Guglietta, Elisa Beghetto, Andrea Spadoni, Wilma Buffolano, Paola Del Porto, Nicola Gargano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalMicrobes and Infection
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007

Keywords

  • Cellular immunity
  • Congenital toxoplasmosis
  • Recombinant antigens
  • Toxoplasma gondii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Age-dependent impairment of functional helper T cell responses to immunodominant epitopes of Toxoplasma gondii antigens in congenitally infected individuals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this