How do protozoan parasites survive inside macrophages?

Parasitol Today. 1999 Jan;15(1):22-8. doi: 10.1016/s0169-4758(98)01362-3.


During infections with intracellular microbes, macrophages have two roles. On the one hand, they are important effector cells for the control and killing of intracellular bacteria and protozoan parasites by oxidative and non-oxidative mechanisms. On the other hand, macrophages may also serve as long-term host cells that facilitate the replication and survival of the pathogens, for example, by protecting them against toxic components of the extracellular milieu. In this review, Christian Bogdan and Martin Röllinghoff summarize some of the more recently discovered mechanisms by which intracellular protozoan parasites, such as Leishmania spp, Trypanosoma cruzi and Toxoplasma gondii, manage to exploit macrophages as safe target cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eukaryota / growth & development*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Macrophages / parasitology*
  • Protozoan Infections / immunology
  • Protozoan Infections / parasitology*