Neospora caninum: A cause of immunemediated failure of pregnancy?

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Trends in Parasitology, 2002, 18 (9), pp. 391 - 394
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Resistance to many intracellular protozoan parasites is dependent on T helper cell 1 cytokine responses. This has important repercussions for pregnant females because strong T helper cell 1 cytokine responses are incompatible with successful pregnancy. Thus, there are two possible consequences of infection with protozoans such as Leishmania major, Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy: (1) pregnancy is compromised; or (2) resistance to the parasite is compromised. The apicomplexan Neospora caninum is a parasite renowned for its association with abortion in cattle. Furthermore, a major route of transmission for this parasite is congenital. The evidence for the hypothesis that T helper cell 1 cytokines play a role in these events is reviewed here.
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