Significance of persistence of antibodies against Leishmania infantum in sicilian patients affected by acute visceral leishmaniasis
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The background of this article is as follows: Few data are available about the persistence of serum-specific IgG antibodies to L. infantum after acute VL. The objective of this article is to evaluate the persistence of antibodies against L. infantum in patients healed from acute VL, and the kinetic of the same antibodies observed in 2 cases of VL relapse and 2 cases of resistance to therapy. The methods which we used to obtain our objective are the following: 55 apparently immunocompetent, HIV-negative patients were examined for antibodies to L. infantum by IFAT over 14 years period, and we got the following results: Serum-specific IgG antibodies titers decrease slowly, but constantly. In the patients with a diagnosis of VL relapse, the kinetic of antibodies was characterized by an initial reduction, and a subsequent antibody levels rapidly increase, while in the patients with a clinical and parasitological diagnosis of VL not responding to specific therapy, we demonstrated persistent high level of antibodies to L. infantum. Finally, we conclude that specific antibodies to L. infantum might persist for many years, and decrease slowly, but steadily. The persistence of these specific antibodies is not related to poor therapeutic response or prognosis, but an acute increase in their levels might be a sentinel of a VL relapse, while persistence of high antibody levels could suggest a resistance to therapy.
KeywordsVisceral leishmaniasis L. infantum Kinetic of antibodies Persistence of antibodies VL relapse VL resistance
Immunofluorescent antibody test
This study was supported by grants from MIUR (Italian University and Research Ministry), former 60% funds, to Pasquale Mansueto. No support was received from the pharmaceutical and diagnostic industry.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.
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