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J Immunol. 2006 Aug 1;177(3):1763-71.

B cells and CD4-CD8- T cells are key regulators of the severity of reactivation histoplasmosis.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Veterans Affairs Hospital, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA.


The fungus, Histoplasma capsulatum, produces a persistent infection. Reactivation histoplasmosis is largely a result of impaired immunity, but the perturbations associated with escape of the fungus from host defenses remain ill-defined. We analyzed a murine model of reactivation to elucidate the host defects that permit reactivation. C57BL/6 mice were infected intranasally and, 42 days later, they were depleted of CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells. Elimination of these cells, but not either alone, produced a persistent infection over several weeks. Neutralization of IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, or both did not induce reactivation. Endogenous IL-10 exacerbated reactivation. Depletion of T cells in B cell(-/-) mice induced a markedly higher burden in organs when compared with wild type. However, the infection remained persistent. Elimination of CD4(+) cells alone or neutralization of cytokines increased the fungal load. The persistent infection was not dependent on gammadelta T cells or NK cells. Elimination of Thy-1.2(+) cells in mice given mAb to CD4 and CD8 transformed reactivation into a progressive, lethal infection in B cell(-/-) and wild-type mice, but the tempo of progression was accelerated in the former. The data reveal the complex control by the host to prevent reactivation of this fungus.

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