Immune responses following experimental human hookworm infection

Clin Exp Immunol. 2005 Nov;142(2):398-403. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2005.02945.x.


To characterize the immune response following primary human hookworm infection, an adult volunteer was infected with 50 L3 larvae of Necator americanus, reinfected 27 months later and followed for a further 6 months. Clinical signs, blood picture, ex-vivo peripheral blood cytokine production (IFN-gamma, IL-5, IL-13, IL-10 to mitogen and hookworm antigen), acute phase proteins (APP) (C-reactive protein, CRP and alpha1-antitrypsin, alpha1-AT) and antibody levels were determined. Dermatitis, oedema, mild nausea and abdominal discomfort followed the primary infection. Eosinophil counts peaked early during both infections but remained elevated ( approximately 18%) throughout. Transient production of IL-5, IL-13 and APP also followed infection but there were negligible levels of IFN-gamma or IL-10. The onset of nausea, oedema and the initial rise in CRP, alpha1-AT, eosinophilia and IL-5 coincided (days 13-27) with the late larval migration and early establishment of the preadult worms in the intestine. Apart from the eosinophilia these responses declined to baseline levels within 4 months and were less pronounced on re-infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Helminth / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, Helminth / immunology
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Eosinophilia / immunology
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Necator americanus / immunology*
  • Necatoriasis / blood
  • Necatoriasis / immunology*
  • Parasite Egg Count
  • Phytohemagglutinins / immunology
  • Recurrence
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Helminth
  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • SERPINA1 protein, human
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • C-Reactive Protein