Interferon-gamma: the major mediator of resistance against Toxoplasma gondii

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Science  22 Apr 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4851, pp. 516-518
DOI: 10.1126/science.3128869


Mice were injected with a monoclonal antibody to interferon-gamma to examine the importance of endogenous production of this lymphokine in resistance against infection with the sporozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Mice with intraperitoneal infections of T. gondii that received no antibody survived and developed chronic T. gondii infection, whereas the infected mice that received the monoclonal antibody died of toxoplasmosis. The activation of macrophages, which kill T. gondii in vivo, was inhibited by administration of the monoclonal antibody, but the production of antibodies to T. gondii was not suppressed. The fact that an antibody to interferon-gamma can eliminate resistance to acute Toxoplasma infection in mice suggests that this lymphokine is an important mediator of host resistance to this parasite.

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