Activated inflammatory T cells correlate with lesion size in human cutaneous leishmaniasis

Immunol Lett. 2005 Nov 15;101(2):226-30. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2005.06.004.


Leishmaniasis is an important parasitic disease affecting millions worldwide. In attempts to understand the clinical relevance of immunological measurements as determined using flow cytometry, several immunological phenotypes were determined for a group of well defined human leishmaniasis patients and correlated with clinical measurements of the disease (Montenegro skin test (MST) and lesion area). The analysis demonstrated a positive correlation between the MST size and the frequency of ex vivo recent activated CD4(+) T cells. In contrast, higher frequencies of recent activated CD8(+) T cells were correlated with a smaller MST size. Moreover, a positive correlation was observed between the lesion total area and the frequency of activated CD69(+) (ex vivo) and CD40L(+) (cultured with Leishmania soluble antigen (SLA)) T lymphocytes. Finally, larger lesions were also correlated with a higher frequency of SLA specific inflammatory cytokine (IFN-gamma or TNF-alpha) producing lymphocytes. These studies demonstrate that immunological markers are correlated with clinical indicators of human leishmaniasis and serve to better understand the evolution of this important parasitic disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / immunology*
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / pathology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*