Author(s): Okwor IB, Jia P, Mou Z, Onyilagha C, Uzonna JE, Okwor IB, Jia P, Mou Z, Onyilagha C, Uzonna JE
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Abstract We previously showed that CD8+ T cells are required for optimal primary immunity to low dose Leishmania major infection. However, it is not known whether immunity induced by low dose infection is durable and whether CD8+ T cells contribute to secondary immunity following recovery from low dose infection. Here, we compared primary and secondary immunity to low and high dose L. major infections and assessed the influence of infectious dose on the quality and magnitude of secondary anti-Leishmania immunity. In addition, we investigated the contribution of CD8+ T cells in secondary anti-Leishmania immunity following recovery from low and high dose infections. We found that the early immune response to low and high dose infections were strikingly different: while low dose infection preferentially induced proliferation and effector cytokine production by CD8+ T cells, high dose infection predominantly induced proliferation and cytokine production by CD4+ T cells. This differential activation of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells by high and low dose infections respectively, was imprinted during in vitro and in vivo recall responses in healed mice. Both low and high dose-infected mice displayed strong infection-induced immunity and were protected against secondary L. major challenge. While depletion of CD4+ cells in mice that healed low and high dose infections abolished resistance to secondary challenge, depletion of CD8+ cells had no effect. Collectively, our results show that although CD8+ T cells are preferentially activated and may contribute to optimal primary anti-Leishmania immunity following low dose infection, they are completely dispensable during secondary immunity.
This article was published in PLoS Negl Trop Dis
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology