Role of natural killer cells in innate resistance to protozoan infections

Curr Opin Immunol. 1997 Feb;9(1):44-51. doi: 10.1016/s0952-7915(97)80157-4.


Natural killer cells are now recognized as major effectors of innate resistance to protozoan parasites. The principal mechanism by which they control the growth of these pathogens is indirect, involving cytokine production rather than cytolytic activity. Recent studies have identified a series of positive and negative signals provided by cytokines and cellular interactions which regulate protozoa-induced natural killer cell function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Protozoan Infections / immunology*