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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 520940, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/520940
Review Article

Regulatory T Cells and Parasites

1Institute for Tropical Medicine, University of Tübingen, 72074 Tübingen, Germany
2Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Ladoke Akintola University, PMB 4400, Osogbo, Nigeria

Received 30 June 2011; Revised 19 September 2011; Accepted 4 October 2011

Academic Editor: Luis I. Terrazas

Copyright © 2011 TP. Velavan and Olusola Ojurongbe. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Human host encounters a wide array of parasites; however, the crucial aspect is the failure of the host immune system to clear these parasites despite antigen recognition. In the recent past, a new immunological concept has emerged, which provides a framework to better understand several aspects of host susceptibility to parasitic infection. It is widely believed that parasites are able to modulate the magnitude of effector responses by inducing regulatory T cell (Tregs) population and several studies have investigated whether this cell population plays a role in balancing protective immunity and pathogenesis during parasite infection. This review discusses the several mechanism of Treg-mediated immunosuppression in the human host and focuses on the functional role of Tregs and regulatory gene polymorphisms in infectious diseases.