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Immunoepidemiological Profiling of Onchocerciasis Patients Reveals Associations with Microfilaria Loads and Ivermectin Intake on Both Individual and Community Levels

Fischer, Peter U., Arndts, Kathrin, Specht, Sabine, Debrah, Alexander Y., Tamarozzi, Francesca, Klarmann Schulz, Ute, Mand, Sabine, Batsa, Linda, Kwarteng, Alexander, Taylor, Mark ORCID:, Adjei, Ohene, Martin, Coralie, Layland, Laura E. and Hoerauf, Achim (2014) 'Immunoepidemiological Profiling of Onchocerciasis Patients Reveals Associations with Microfilaria Loads and Ivermectin Intake on Both Individual and Community Levels'. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol 8, Issue 2, : e2679.

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Mass drug administration (MDA) programmes against Onchocerca volvulus use ivermectin (IVM) which targets microfilariae (MF), the worm's offspring. Most infected individuals are hyporesponsive and present regulated immune responses despite high parasite burden. Recently, with MDA programmes, the existence of amicrofilaridermic (a-MF) individuals has become apparent but little is known about their immune responses. Within this immunoepidemiological study, we compared parasitology, pathology and immune profiles in infection-free volunteers and infected individuals that were MF+ or a-MF. The latter stemmed from villages in either Central or Ashanti regions of Ghana which, at the time of the study, had received up to eight or only one round of MDA respectively. Interestingly, a-MF patients had fewer nodules and decreased IL-10 responses to all tested stimuli. On the other hand, this patient group displayed contrary IL-5 profiles following in vitro stimulation or in plasma and the dampened response in the latter correlated to reduced eosinophils and associated factors but elevated neutrophils. Furthermore, multivariable regression analysis with covariates MF, IVM or the region (Central vs. Ashanti) revealed that immune responses were associated with different covariates: whereas O. volvulus-specific IL-5 responses were primarily associated with MF, IL-10 secretion had a negative correlation with times of individual IVM therapy (IIT). All plasma parameters (eosinophil cationic protein, IL-5, eosinophils and neutrophils) were highly associated with MF. With regards to IL-17 secretion, although no differences were observed between the groups to filarial-specific or bystander stimuli, these responses were highly associated with the region. These data indicate that immune responses are affected by both, IIT and the rounds of IVM MDA within the community. Consequently, it appears that a lowered infection pressure due to IVM MDA may affect the immune profile of community members even if they have not regularly participated in the programmes.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QV Pharmacology > QV 38 Drug action.
QW Microbiology and Immunology > Immune Responses > QW 700 Infection. Mechanisms of infection and resistance.
QX Parasitology > Helminths. Annelida > QX 301 Filarioidea
WA Public Health > WA 105 Epidemiology
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 885 Onchocerciasis
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Martin Chapman
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2015 16:17
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2020 12:58


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