Cytokine and chemokine responses in patients co-infected with Entamoeba histolytica/dispar, Necator americanus and Mansonella perstans and changes after anti-parasite treatment

Microbes Infect. 2006 Jan;8(1):238-47. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2005.06.019. Epub 2005 Sep 12.


This study examined the impact of concurrent parasite infections (amoebiasis, filariasis, necatoriasis) and the effect of anti-parasite treatment on cytokine and chemokine responses in singly and poly-parasitized patients. Cellular reactivity and parasite-specific Th1- and Th2-type cytokine and chemokine profiles were investigated before and six weeks after treatment. In those patients infected with three parasite species, cellular secretion of interleukin 5 (IL-5) and IL-12p40 by PBMC was strongly diminished (p<0.005) but IL-10 was elevated in parasite-infected patients (p<0.0001) in response to protozoa- and helminth-specific as well as bacteria-specific antigens. Macrophage inflammatory chemokines (MIP-1alpha/CCL3 and MIP-1beta/CCL4), macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC/CCL22) and neutrophil activating chemokine (IL-8/CXCL8) were produced by PBMC in similar amounts in endemic controls and singly and poly-parasitized patients, but thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC/CCL17) was produced the highest by PBMC from patients with triple parasite infections (p<0.0001). Following anti-parasite therapy, secretion of IL-12p40 and IL-5 augmented significantly in treated patients while IL-10, MDC, MIP-1alpha, TARC and IL-8 substantially diminished (all p<10(-5)) when their PBMC were activated with parasite- and bacteria-specific antigens. In summary, PBMC from poly-parasitized patients responded to protozoa- and helminth-specific antigens with a compromised IL-5 and IL-12p40 but high IL-10 and a substantial chemokine release. Chemokines may attract and activate effector cells in peri-parasitic tissues to limit parasite proliferation and dissemination, while depressed IL-5 and IL-12p40 but prominent IL-10 may prevent eosinophil and cytotoxic cell-mediated inflammatory processes and pathogenesis to the host. The changes in this profile following anti-parasite therapy disclosed the dynamics of an immune adaptation associated with parasite accumulation and also with clearance of parasite infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Helminth / blood
  • Antigens, Helminth / blood
  • Chemokines / blood
  • Chemokines / metabolism*
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Entamoebiasis / drug therapy
  • Entamoebiasis / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mansonelliasis / drug therapy
  • Mansonelliasis / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Necator americanus*
  • Necatoriasis / drug therapy
  • Necatoriasis / metabolism*


  • Anthelmintics
  • Antibodies, Helminth
  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines