is an important cause of clinical disease in fetuses, infants and immunocompromised patients.
Since the discovery of T. gondii
100 years ago, this pathogen and the host’s immune response to toxoplasmosis
have been studied intensely. This has led to the development of a working model of immunity to T. gondii
, and has
also resulted in fundamental new insights into the role of various cytokines in resistance to infection. By examining
this organism, researchers have identified many of the requirements for resistance to intracellular pathogens and
characterized numerous regulatory factors, including interleukin-10 (IL-10) and IL-27, which control inflammatory
processes. In the next 100 years of T. gondii
immunobiology, researchers will have the opportunity to answer some
of the long-standing questions in the field using new techniques and reagents. These future studies will be vital in
building a more comprehensive model of immunity to this pathogen and in advancing our understanding of immunoregulation,
particularly in humans. Ultimately, the challenge will be to use this information to develop new vaccines
and therapies to manage disease in affected patients.