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Revista Cubana de Investigaciones Biomédicas

Print version ISSN 0864-0300On-line version ISSN 1561-3011


CRUZ QUEVEDO, Mileydis; HERNANDEZ CRUZ, Adrián  and  DORTA CONTRERAS, Alberto Juan. Relationship between biology, immune response and clinical characteristics in Toxoplasma gondii infection. Rev Cubana Invest Bioméd [online]. 2019, vol.38, n.4, e256.  Epub Feb 28, 2020. ISSN 0864-0300.

Toxoplasmosis has been considered the 20th century parasitic disease, with a seroprevalence of 25-30% of the world human population, and 50%-75% in Cuba. Despite the large number of cases, Toxoplasma gondii is not well known by the general population or even the medical personnel, a fact of which Cuba is not an exception. The objectives of the study were to biologically characterize Toxoplasma gondii and the immune response displayed, and identify the elements facilitating the clinical diagnosis of toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma gondii may probably infect all warm-blooded animals, including humans. Four different clonal lineages have been described, as well as three main stages in the transmission to definitive and intermediate hosts, cats being the main transmission agents of the infection. Oral and placental transmission are the main routes of transmission of Toxoplasma gondii. Th1 cell response creates a resistance factor in the host. When reduced, the parasite recovers its pathogenicity and may cause disseminated disease. The main groups at risk of contracting the disease are immunocompromised individuals, due to their vulnerability to opportunistic infections. In immunocompetent individuals the primary infection is generally self-limited. The risk factors most commonly cited are close contact with animals and poor hygiene. Despite the availability of satisfactory therapies, prophylactic measures continue to be the main pillar of the treatment of toxoplasmosis. Although the biology of the parasite grants it pathogenicity, a competent immune system and adequate control measures may limit the infection.

Keywords : Toxoplasma gondii; life cycle; immune response; immunocompromised.

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