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Int J Parasitol. 2012 May 15;42(6):557-66. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2012.04.006. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Innate recognition of malarial parasites by mammalian hosts.

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Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-028 Lisboa, Portugal.


Innate immunity plays a central role in combating infections. However, the importance of innate immune sensors in detecting intracellular parasites, such as Plasmodium spp., has only recently emerged as a central topic in the field of host-pathogen interactions. Genetic dissection of innate immune pathways has uncovered a complex relationship between the host innate immune system and Plasmodium blood-stage parasites. In fact, recognition molecules of the innate immune system, such as toll-like receptors, might not only be implicated in host defense but also in the pathogenesis of the disease. Whether Plasmodium liver stage parasites are recognised and controlled by the host innate immune system remains to be discovered. In this review we discuss recent findings on how the host innate immune system may sense and fight the different forms of Plasmodium and how the latter may have evolved mechanisms to escape host detection and/or to manipulate the defensive reaction of the host.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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