Pathophysiological Aspects of Ocular Toxoplasmosis: Host-parasite Interactions

Dimitrios Kalogeropoulos, Chris Kalogeropoulos, Hercules Sakkas, Bashar Mohammed, Georgios Vartholomatos, Konstantinos Malamos, Sreekanth Sreekantam, Panagiotis Kanavaros, Alejandra de-la-Torre

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This review aims to present the state of the art to understand the pathophysiology of ocular toxoplasmosis (OT), providing further foundations that would help to improve the future treatment and prognosis of this potentially blinding disease. Methods: A thorough literature search was performed in PubMed database. An additional search was made in Google Scholar to complete the collected items. Results: Toxoplasma gondii ocular infection is one of the most frequent causes of posterior uveitis. Despite the ocular barriers, the parasite reaches the eye through different mechanisms. Once inside, it remains encysted livelong within the retina, and recurrences cannot be completely avoided. The complexity of host-parasite interactions, leading to the success of this parasite, encompasses host factors such as genetic predisposition, immune status, and age; and parasite factors such as strain diversity, virulence, phylogenetic origin, and geographical distribution. These factors influence the clinical presentation, course, and progression of the disease. Additional elements, such as pregnancy, eating behavior, and environmental, social, and cultural factors may also contribute to this complex balance. Conclusions: The host-parasite interaction in OT is a complex and multifactorial relationship, with the parasite always on the driving edge of the game. There are still multiple incompletely understood fields to be investigated. Future research would permit further insight into the immune-biology of the parasite and recognition of the host-parasite interplay to improve the diagnostic and management performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOcular Immunology and Inflammation
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Ophthalmology

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