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Nat Med. 2004 Jan;10(1):29-30. Epub 2003 Dec 21.

Escape of malaria parasites from host immunity requires CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cells.

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  • 1Department of Immunology & Parasitology, School of Medicine, The University of Tokushima, 3-18-15 Kuramoto, Tokushima, 770-8503, Japan.


Infection with malaria parasites frequently induces total immune suppression, which makes it difficult for the host to maintain long-lasting immunity. Here we show that depletion of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells (T(reg)) protects mice from death when infected with a lethal strain of Plasmodium yoelii, and that this protection is associated with an increased T-cell responsiveness against parasite-derived antigens. These results suggest that activation of T(reg) cells contributes to immune suppression during malaria infection, and helps malaria parasites to escape from host immune responses.

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