Plasma levels of innate immune mediators are associated with liver fibrosis in low parasite burden Schistosoma mansoni-infected individuals

Scand J Immunol. 2018 Mar;87(3). doi: 10.1111/sji.12642. Epub 2018 Feb 26.


In the murine model, it was demonstrated that pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines are essential to the formation and modulation of Schistosoma-induced granulomatous inflammation. However, the relationship of these immune mediators and disease severity is hard to be established in naturally infected individuals. The current study evaluates the association between plasma concentrations of MIF, sTNF-R1, CCL3, CCL7 and CCL24 and schistosomiasis morbidity in Schistosoma mansoni-infected patients with a low parasite burden. For this propose, 97 S. mansoni-infected individuals were subjected to abdominal ultrasound analysis and clinical examination. Among them, 88 had plasma concentration of immune mediators estimated by ELISA assay. Multivariate linear regression models were used to evaluate the relationship between the plasma concentration of immune mediators and the variables investigated. Although most individuals presented low parasite burden, over 30% of them showed signs of fibrosis defined by ultrasound measurements and 2 patients had a severe form of schistosomiasis. No association between parasite burden and the plasma levels of chemokine/cytokines or disease severity was observed. There was a positive association between plasma concentration of CCL4, sTNF-R1, CCL3 and MIF with gall bladder thickness and/or with portal vein thickness that are liver fibrosis markers. In contrast, no association was found between CCL7 plasma concentrations with any of the schistosomiasis morbidity parameters evaluated. The data showed that CCL24, sTNFR1, MIF and CCL3 can be detected in plasma of S. mansoni-infected individuals and their concentration would be used as prognostic makers of Schistosoma-induced liver fibrosis, even in individuals with low parasite burden.

Keywords: blood; chemokines; human; infections; inflammation; molecules; parasitic; processes; subject; tissues.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Chemokine CCL24 / blood*
  • Chemokine CCL3 / blood*
  • Chemokine CCL7 / blood*
  • Humans
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases / blood*
  • Liver / blood supply
  • Liver / parasitology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / immunology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / parasitology
  • Macrophage Migration-Inhibitory Factors / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Portal Vein / pathology
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I / blood*
  • Schistosoma mansoni / immunology*
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni / immunology*
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni / parasitology
  • Young Adult


  • CCL24 protein, human
  • CCL3 protein, human
  • CCL7 protein, human
  • Chemokine CCL24
  • Chemokine CCL3
  • Chemokine CCL7
  • Macrophage Migration-Inhibitory Factors
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I
  • TNFRSF1A protein, human
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases
  • MIF protein, human