Parasitology Research

, Volume 87, Issue 9, pp 722–729

Parasite-specific antibody and cellular immune responses in humans infected with Necator americanus and Oesophagostomum bifurcum

  •  D. Pit
  •  A. Polderman
  •  S. Baeta
  •  H. Schulz-Key
  •  P. Soboslay
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s004360100419

Cite this article as:
Pit, D., Polderman, A., Baeta, S. et al. Parasitol Res (2001) 87: 722. doi:10.1007/s004360100419

Abstract.

In this study parasite-specific antibody, cellular reactivity and Th1-type or Th2-type cytokine responses were investigated in humans concurrently infected with Necator americanus and Oesophagostomum bifurcum. The prospects for O. bifurcum-specific serodiagnosis based on IgG4 and IgE were evaluated. IgG4 showed low specificity for O. bifurcum due to antigen cross-reactivity with N. americanus, while IgE specifically distinguished between hookworm and O. bifurcum, and, in doubly infected patients, levels of O. bifurcum-specific as well as N. americanus-specific IgE were significantly elevated compared to those with N. americanus mono-infections. Cellular immunity was not strictly dominated by a Th1- or Th2- type reactivity. In co-infected patients cellular unresponsiveness to parasite antigens was observed, while cellular production of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and gamma-interferon (IFN-γ) was greater in those doubly infected. Th2-type cytokines (interleukin-5 and interleukin-10) were produced in equal amounts by peripheral blood mononuclear cells from individuals with mono- and co-infections. Such mixed Th1-type and Th2-type immune responsiveness associated with persisting gastrointestinal parasitic nematodes may reflect a state of infection at which parasite-induced inflammatory and enteropathogenic responses co-exist, and furthermore, helminth co-infection will not only suppress parasite-specific cellular responsiveness but may also direct cytokine production towards a "permissive Th1-type cytokine profile" that favours parasite persistence.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  •  D. Pit
    • 1
  •  A. Polderman
    • 1
  •  S. Baeta
    • 2
  •  H. Schulz-Key
    • 3
  •  P. Soboslay
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2.Departement de Gynécologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Université du Benin, Lomé, Togo
  3. 3.Institute of Tropical Medicine, University of Tübingen, Wilhelmstrasse 27, 72074 Tübingen, Germany