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REVIEW ARTICLERole of Cytokines in the Pathogenesis of Visceral Leishmaniasis by Ramesh Kumar, Madhav Bhatia, Kalpana Pai

Infection in humans with Leishmania manifests into a spectrum of diseases. The manifestations of the disease depend on the resultant evasion of the parasite to immune responses namely macrophages, which is an exclusive host of leishmania. The B cells valiantly mount antibody responses, however to no avail as the Leishmania parasites occupy the intracellular niches of the macrophages. Extensive studies have been documented on the role of cell-mediated immunity (CMI) in protection and counter survival strategies of the parasites leading to down-regulation of CMI. The present review attempts to discuss the cytokines in progression or resolution of visceral form of leishmaniasis or kala-azar, predominantly affecting the Indian subcontinent. The components/cytokine(s) responsible for the regulation of the critical balance of Th1/Th2/Th9/Th17/Treg cells has been discussed in the perspective. Therefore, any strategy involving the treatment of VL needs to consider the balance and regulation of CD4+ T cell function.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2017.170404