The immunology of susceptibility and resistance to Leishmania major in mice

Nat Rev Immunol. 2002 Nov;2(11):845-58. doi: 10.1038/nri933.


Established models of T-helper-2-cell dominance in BALB/c mice infected with Leishmania major -- involving the early production of interleukin-4 by a small subset of Leishmania-specific CD4+ T cells -- have been refined by accumulating evidence that this response is not sufficient and, under some circumstances, not required to promote susceptibility. In addition, more recent studies in L. major-resistant mice have revealed complexities in the mechanisms responsible for acquired immunity, which necessitate the redesign of vaccines against Leishmania and other pathogens that require sustained cell-mediated immune responses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Disease Susceptibility / immunology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-12 / physiology
  • Interleukin-4 / physiology
  • Leishmania major / immunology*
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Protozoan Vaccines / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology


  • Protozoan Vaccines
  • Interleukin-12
  • Interleukin-4