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Cellular immune responses of a Senegalese community recently exposed to Schistosoma mansoni: correlations of infection level with age and inflammatory cytokine production by soluble egg antigen-specific cells

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Abstract:

Summary

A recently reported epidemic of Schistosoma mansoni infection in Senegal provided an opportunity to study the dynamics of the development of immunity to human schistosomiasis. We report here on the cell-mediated immune response in a population of 99 females and 95 males, with particular emphasis on the relationship between intensity of infection and age. We found that the intensity of infection correlated negatively with age in females but not in males. In men and women, both Th1-and Th2-type cytokines were detected upon in vitro stimulation of PBMCs with soluble egg antigen (SEA) or soluble adult worm antigens (SWAP). In the female group, SEA-induced PBMC proliferation was associated with the production of IFN-γ, IL-2 and IL-5, all of which correlated negatively with intensity of infection. Most cytokine production correlated positively with age. Spontaneous production of TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-10 was higher in the infected population than in an uninfected control group. Our results suggest that immunity to infection could be more pronounced in the female population and associated with a Th0/1 + 2 pattern of cytokine secretion mediated by soluble egg antigen (SEA).

Keywords: Th1/Th2; cytokines; helminth parasites; human clinical studies

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-3156.1999.00443.x

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire de SOR, Programme ESPOIR, Saint-Louis, Sénégal 2: Sanofi Recherche, Gentilly, France 3: Centre d'Investigation Biologique, Programme ESPOIR, Richard Toll, Sénégal 4: Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, UK 5: Région Médicale, Programme ESPOIR, Saint-Louis, Sénégal 6: Unité CNRS UMR 8527, Institut Pasteur de Lille, France 7: Unité INSERM U167, Institut Pasteur de Lille, Lille, France 8: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Publication date: August 1, 1999

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