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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0037-8682


BHATTACHARYA, Pradyot  and  ALI, Nahid. Involvement and interactions of different immune cells and their cytokines in human visceral leishmaniasis. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2013, vol.46, n.2, pp.128-134.  Epub Apr 02, 2013. ISSN 0037-8682.

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) or kala-azar, a disseminated infection of the lymphoreticular system of the body, is marked by severe defect in immune system of the host. Successful cure of VL depends on the immune status of the host in combination with the effects of the antileishmanial drugs. The rationale approach towards eradication of this disease would be to potentiate the immune functioning of the host in addition to parasite killing. This review deals with different aspects of adaptive and innate immune responses and explores their role in protection or pathogenesis of VL. IL-10 has emerged as the principal cytokine responsible for disease pathogenesis, although evidences regarding its source during active VL remain inconclusive. On the other hand, IFNγ, under the influence of IL-12, is mostly correlated with healing of the disease. Chemokines are important in mounting cell-mediated immune response as they can prevent parasite invasion in association with cytokines. Different types of T cells like CD4, CD8 and NK T cells also contribute to the immunology of this disease. In spite of conflicting reports, the role of regulatory T cells in VL pathogenesis is important. Recently discovered Th17 subset and its different members have been reported to perform diverse functions in the course of VL and leishmaniasis as a whole. Innate immune responses, depending on the cell types, are essential in early parasite detection and subsequent development of an efficient NK cell response. Immunotherapy targeting IL-10 could be looked upon as an interesting option for the treatment of VL.

Keywords : Immunity; Human visceral leishmaniasis; Cytokines; IL-10.

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