The Interaction Between Filarial Parasites and Human Monocyte/Macrophage Populations
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Lymphatic filariasis is a mafor tropical disease affecting approximately 120 million people worldwide. Patent infection, by and large, is clinically asymptomatic but is associated with the inability of T cells to proliferate or produce IFN-γ in response to parasite antigen. Monocyte dysfunction is one hypothesis felt to explain the lack of an antigen-specific T cell response. In fact, monocytes from filaria-infected individuals have been shown to be studded with internalized filarial antigens. Understanding how the phenotype and the function of these monocytes are altered through the internalization of these parasite antigens is one of the areas our laboratory has focused on. In fact, the existence and/or function of alternatively activated macrophages in murine models of filarial infections have been extensively studied. Whether this population of macrophages can be induced in human filarial infections is the main focus of this review.
KeywordsHuman Alternatively activated macrophages Filarial parasites Monocytes Lymphatic filariasis
This work was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and National Institutes of Health. We thank Brenda Rae Marshall, DPSS, NIAID, for editing.
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