Infection with Hymenolepis diminuta Blocks Colitis and Hastens Recovery While Colitis Has Minimal Impact on Expulsion of the Cestode from the Mouse Host

Pathogens. 2021 Aug 6;10(8):994. doi: 10.3390/pathogens10080994.


Two experimental paradigms were adopted to explore host-helminth interactions involved in the regulation of colitis and to understand if colitis affects the outcome of helminth infection. First, male BALB/c mice infected with H. diminuta were challenged 4 days later with dinitrobenzene sulphonic acid (DNBS) and necropsied 3 days later. Second, mice were infected with H. diminuta 3 days after DNBS treatment and necropsied 11 or 14 days post-DNBS. Mice were assessed for colitic disease severity and infectivity with H. diminuta upon necropsy. Supporting the concept of helminth therapy, mice are protected from DNBS-colitis when infected with H. diminuta only 4 days previously, along with parallel increases in splenic production of Th2 cytokines. In the treatment regimen, H. diminuta infection produced a subtle, statistically significant, enhanced recovery from DNBS. Mice regained body weight quicker, had normalized colon lengths, and showed no overt signs of disease, in comparison to the DNBS-only mice, some of which displayed signs of mild disease at 14 days post-DNBS. Unexpectedly, colitis did not affect the hosts' anti-worm response. The impact of inflammatory disease on helminth infection is deserving of study in a variety of models as auto-inflammatory diseases emerge in world regions where parasitic helminths are endemic.

Keywords: DNBS colitis therapeutic; Th2 cytokines; cestode immunomodulation; colitis; helminth therapy.