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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 195-208

Leishmania donovani: Immune response and immune evasion with emphasis on PD-1/PDL-1 pathway and role of autophagy

1 Department of Medical Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt
2 Department of Human Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Samar Habib
Department of Medical Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.315895

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Leishmania donovani is one of the causative agents of visceral leishmaniasis. The immune response against Leishmania depends on CD4+ T helper type 1 cells. The immune system is unable to combat Leishmania because the parasite can exert several immune suppressive mechanisms that facilitate escaping the immune responses. One of these mechanisms is the up-regulation of programmed death-1/programmed death ligand-1 pathway which causes T cells to undergo exhaustion. Autophagy is strongly linked to the immune response, with some research indicating that activating autophagy reduces the immune response to some intracellular pathogens, while others indicate that activating autophagy limits the growth of intracellular pathogens. Leishmania was found to subvert the host defense mechanisms for its own persistence, such as Leishmania-induced autophagy modulation. Leishmania was reported to activate autophagy in different studies, thus getting a dual benefit by evading the immune system and simultaneously utilizing the autophagy byproducts as nutrients. In this review, we introduced different immune evasion/suppressive mechanisms used by Leishmania, and different immunotherapies which were developed accordingly. We focused on the programmed death-1/programmed death ligand-1 pathway as well as autophagy with the potential interplay of both mechanisms.

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