Functional and quantitative alterations in T lymphocyte subpopulations in acute toxoplasmosis

B. J. Luft, G. Kansas, E. G. Engleman, J. S. Remington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The cellular immune response to Toxoplasma gondii has been studied in 23 patients with acute toxoplasma infection. Abnormalities of T cell subpopulations included a marked and significant elevation in suppressor (Leu 2) T cells in patients with prolonged symptoms due to acute infection and either a decrease in the number of T helper cells or an increase in the number of suppressor cells - or both - in patients with asymptomatic lymphadenectomy. There was no significant difference in lymphocyte proliferation to phytohemagglutinin or pokeweed mitogen among the various groups tested. The peak lymphocyte response to toxoplasma antigen, however, was significantly depressed in patients with acute infection compared with that in chronically infected control patients. The kinetics of the depression were consistent with the induction of a non-Leu 2 suppressor cell. These results demonstrate marked quantitative alterations in T lymphocyte subpopulations and functional alterations of T cells to toxoplasma antigen during infection with T. gondii.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-767
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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