Parasitology Research

, Volume 110, Issue 2, pp 787–797 | Cite as

Recombinant Wolbachia surface protein (WSP)-induced T cell responses in Wuchereria bancrofti infections

  • C. Shiny
  • N. S. A. Krushna
  • K. Haripriya
  • S. Babu
  • S. Elango
  • G. Manokaran
  • R. B. Narayanan
Original Paper


Human lymphatic filariasis is a debilitating parasitic disease characterized by downregulation of the host’s immune response in asymptomatic carriers along with profound hyperreactivity in chronic patients apart from putatively immune endemic normals. The endosymbiont Wolbachia, a bacterium of filarial nematodes has received much attention as possible chemotherapeutic target and its involvement in disease pathogenesis. The role of recombinant Wolbachia surface protein (rWSP), one of the most abundantly expressed proteins of the endosymbiont, in modulating cell-mediated immune responses in patients harboring Wuchereria bancrofti infections was evaluated in the current study. rWSP-induced lymphoproliferation with peripheral blood mononuclear cells suggested an impaired proliferative response in asymptomatic microfilaremic (MF) and symptomatic chronic pathology (CP) patients compared to endemic normals (EN). This was further supported by a significantly diminished expression of CD69 along with elevated levels of CD127 and CD62L in filarial patients (MF and CP) compared to EN. Further, rWSP induced the expression of regulatory T cell markers CTLA-4 and CD25 along with suppressor cytokines IL-10 and TGF-β in MF and CP patients compared to EN. However, the rWSP-stimulated expression of IFN-γ was diminished significantly in filarial patients compared to endemic normals. Thus, these findings suggest that WSP may also contribute to the suppression of immune responses seen in filarial patients.


TReg Cell Lymphatic Filariasis Mass Drug Administration Filariasis Filarial Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Brugia malayi adult crude extract


Cluster of differentiation


Circulating filarial antigen


Chronic pathology


Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen


Complementary DNA


Diethyl pyrocarbonate


Endemic normal


Fetal calf serum


Fluorescein isothiocyanate


Global Programme for Elimination of Filariasis




Interferon gamma




Limulus amoebocyte lysate assay


Mass drug administration






Non-endemic normal


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells






Ribonucleic acid


Roswell Park Memorial Institute


Reverse-transcribed polymerase chain reaction


T regulatory cells


Wolbachia surface protein

W. bancrofti

Wuchereria bancrofti



The authors wish to thank Dr. Thomas B. Nutman, National Institute of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, USA for providing the reagents for the FACS analysis. We also thank the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Malaria and Filaria Division Government of Tamil Nadu, Chennai, India, for their help with the clinical samples. This work received funding from the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, India. CS was a recipient of the Senior Research Fellowship Award from CSIR, New Delhi, India. This work was supported in part by NIAID/DIR through the ICER program.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Shiny
    • 1
  • N. S. A. Krushna
    • 1
  • K. Haripriya
    • 1
  • S. Babu
    • 2
  • S. Elango
    • 3
  • G. Manokaran
    • 4
  • R. B. Narayanan
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for BiotechnologyAnna UniversityChennaiIndia
  2. 2.NIH-TRC-ICER SAIC-Frederick, Inc.National Cancer Institute at FrederickChennaiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Public Health and Preventive MedicineGovernment of Tamil NaduChennaiIndia
  4. 4.Apollo HospitalChennaiIndia

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