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Anti-inflammatory effect of prednisolone on the growth of human liver fluke in experimental opisthorchiasis

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Abstract

Opisthorchis viverrini is one of the risk factors for cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) development and is endemic in Southeast Asia including Thailand. CCA is induced by chronic inflammation from a combination of mechanical damage, parasite secretions, and immunopathology. Chronic infection with O. viverrini has been associated with several hepatobiliary diseases which affect the development of hepatobiliary cancer and CCA. Therefore, reducing the pathogenesis from O. viverrini infection may be one of the choices to reduce the risk of cholangiocarcinoma development. Prednisolone is one of the steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that suppress inflammation, and its use has risen continuously in recent years. We therefore investigated the effect of prednisolone on pathological changes in Syrian hamster opisthorchiasis, in terms of gross and histopathological changes, worm size, eggs per gram, eggs per worm, and immunohistochemical staining for COX2. Syrian hamsters were divided into three groups: uninfected control; O. viverrini-infected (OV); and O. viverrini-infected plus prednisolone administration (OVP). The results showed an anti-inflammatory effect in the OVP group by a reduction of the inflammatory cells surrounding the intrahepatic bile ducts. However, in addition, parasite sizes for all times of observation were larger than for other groups, which was also correlated with increased eggs per worm and eggs per gram of feces. This result suggests that prednisolone is useful in suppressing inflammation in Syrian hamster opisthorchiasis, whereas it was also beneficial for parasites by enhancing their reproductive development. To clarify the mechanism of this phenomenon, further studies are under investigation.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by grant from under the program Strategic Scholarships for Frontier Research Network for the Ph.D. Program Thai Doctoral degree from the Office of the Higher Education Commission, the Thailand Research Fund MRG54, the Higher Education Research Promotion and National Research University Project of Thailand, Office of the Higher Education Commission. We thank the staff of the Department of Parasitology, the Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Center, and the Animal Experimental Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, for their support.

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Correspondence to Thidarut Boonmars.

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Juasook, A., Boonmars, T., Kaewkes, S. et al. Anti-inflammatory effect of prednisolone on the growth of human liver fluke in experimental opisthorchiasis. Parasitol Res 110, 2271–2279 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-011-2759-8

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