TGF-β in Toxoplasmosis: Friend or foe?

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Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is an obligate intracellular protozoan causing several forms of toxoplasmosis in humans. The main mechanisms that allow the development of the prolonged forms of the disease and its subsequent pathology are yet to be clarified. However, many researchers have hypothesized that immunological and genetic parameters may play crucial roles in the etiology of the disease. Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) is a cytokine with a dual role in the regulation of immune responses including those against parasites. However, the relationship between TGF-β and immune responses against T. gondii are not fully understood. The important roles played by TGF-β in the development of Th17 and T regulatory lymphocytes, mucosal immunity and regulation of immune responses have been documented and this provides insights into TGF-β function during parasitic infections such as toxoplasmosis. Therefore, the aim of this review is to collate the current information regarding the status and association of TGF-β with T. gondii infection.

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