What is the role of T-lymphocyte levels in the pathogenesis toxoplasmosis?

Updated: Mar 08, 2019
  • Author: Murat Hökelek, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Alterations in subpopulations of T lymphocytes are profound and prolonged during acute acquired T gondii infection. These have been correlated with disease syndromes but not with disease outcome. Some patients with prolonged fever and malaise have lymphocytosis, increased suppressor T-cell counts, and a decreased helper-to-suppressor T-cell ratio. These patients may have fewer helper cells even when they are asymptomatic.

In some patients with lymphadenopathy, helper-cell counts are diminished for more than 6 months after infection onset. Ratios of T-cell subpopulations may also be abnormal in asymptomatic patients. Some patients with disseminated toxoplasmosis have a very marked reduction in T cells and a marked depression in the ratio of helper to suppressor T lymphocytes. Depletion of inducer T lymphocytes in patients with AIDS may contribute to the severe manifestations of toxoplasmosis observed in these patients.


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