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Free Content Comparison of cytokine plasma levels in human African trypanosomiasis

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Summary Background 

Immunological studies suggest that human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is associated with inflammatory responses. A better understanding of the complex cytokine interactions regulating HAT infections is essential to elucidate the mechanisms of generalized immunosuppression. Method 

We determined levels of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interferon (IFN)-γ protein levels in plasma samples from three groups of individuals from the Democratic Republic of Congo: (i) HAT cases; (ii) seropositive individuals for whom parasite detection was negative and (ii) controls. Results 

Plasma levels of six cytokines were significantly higher in HAT cases than in both controls (P < 0.003) and seropositive individuals (P < 0.016). IL-2 and IL-10 concentrations were significantly lower (P < 0.02) in the seropositive group than in the control one. Conclusion 

Human African trypanosomiasis leads to the development of strong cytokine responses, indicating the potential involvement of IL-2 and IL-10 in the phenomenon of seropositivity without parasitological confirmation. This strongly suggests the involvement of immunity in this particular aspect of HAT epidemiology.
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Keywords: Trypanosoma brucei gambiense; gamma interferon; human African trypanosomiasis; interleukin; tumour necrosis factor-alpha

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Santé de la mère et de l'enfant en milieu tropical, Paris, France 2:  Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Interactions hôtes-vecteurs-parasites dans les trypanosomoses, Montpellier, France 3:  Becton Dickinson Biosciences, Le-Pont-de-Claix, France 4:  Programme National de Lutte contre la Trypanosomiase Humaine Africaine, Kinshasa, République Démocratique du Congo 5:  Ministère de la Santé, Kinshasa, République Démocratique du Congo 6:  Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Santé de la mère et de l'enfant en milieu tropical, Cotonou, Benin

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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