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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00296

"Integrative approaches to understand the mastery in manipulation of host cytokine  networks by protozoan parasites with emphasis on Plasmodium and Leishmania species"

  • 1Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Tezpur University, India

Diseases by protozoan pathogens pose a significant public health concern, particularly in tropical and subtropical countries, where these are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. Protozoan pathogens tend to establish chronic infections underscoring their competence at subversion of host immune processes, an important component of disease pathogenesis and of their virulence. Modulation of cytokine and chemokine levels, their crosstalks and downstream signalling pathways and thereby influencing recruitment and activation of immune cells is crucial to immune evasion and subversion. Many protozoans are now known to secrete effector molecules that actively modulate host immune transcriptome and bring about alterations in host epigenome to alter cytokine levels and signalling. The complexity of multi-dimensional events during interaction of hosts and protozoan parasites ranges from microscopic molecular levels to macroscopic ecological and epidemiological levels that includes disrupting metabolic pathways, cell cycle ( Toxoplasma and Theileria sp) , respiratory burst and antigen presentation ( Leishmania spp) to a]manipulation of signalling hubs. This requires an integrative systems biology approach to combine the knowledge from all these levels to  identify the complex mechanisms of protozoan evolution via immune escape during host-parasite coevolution. Considering the diversity of protozoan parasites, in this review, we have focused on Leishmania and Plasmodium infections. Along with the biological understanding, we further elucidate the current efforts in generating, integrating and modelling of multi-dimensional data to explain the modulation of cytokine networks by these two protozoan parasites to achieve their persistence in host via immune escape during host-parasite coevolution.

Keywords: cytokine networks, Manipulation, Plasmodium, Leishmania, Toxoplasma, host immunity, Inflammation, signalling hubs, Protozoa infectious diseases, Cross regulation, system biology, T helper switch

Received: 14 Nov 2017; Accepted: 01 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Alexandre Morrot, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Reviewed by:

Danielle O. Nascimento, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Elisangela C. Da Silva, State University of Norte Fluminense, Brazil  

Copyright: © 2018 Baruah. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Shashi Baruah, Tezpur University, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Napaam, TEZPUR University, Tezpur, 784028, Assam, India,