Immune factors and immunoregulation in tuberculosis

J.C. Ferraz, F.B.S. Melo, M.F.P.M. Albuquerque, S.M.L. Montenegro, F.G.C. Abath
2006 Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research  
Pathogens causing tuberculosis and other chronic infectious diseases of major public health importance commonly have complex mechanisms involved in their persistence in the host despite specific and sometimes strong immune responses. These diseases are also associated with the lack of efficient vaccines, difficult therapeutics and a high mortality rate among susceptible individuals. Here, we will review features of the host immune response that contribute to the occurrence of disease. In
more » ... disease. In addition, we propose that the immune responses observed in tuberculosis cannot be interpreted solely on the basis of a Th1-Th2 counter-regulatory paradigm since there is growing evidence that natural regulatory T cells may play an important role in the regulation of host immune responses against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Thus, the development of more effective vaccines against this bacterial disease should take into account the role of natural regulatory T cells in the progression to severe disease and persistence of infection. Finally, new treatments based on manipulation of regulatory T cells should be investigated.
doi:10.1590/s0100-879x2006001100002 pmid:17146551 fatcat:wrw7rv7bqrc2xayvdrk2lh5oi4