Onchocerca volvulus-exposed persons fail to produce interferon-gamma in response to O. volvulus antigen but mount proliferative responses with interleukin-5 and IL-13 production that decrease with increasing microfilarial density

Brattig, Norbert W.; Lepping, Bianca; Timmann, Christian; Büttner, Dietrich W.; Marfo, Yeboah; Hamelmann, Christoph; Horstmann, Rolf D.; Büttner, Dietrich W
April 2002
Journal of Infectious Diseases;4/15/2002, Vol. 185 Issue 8, p1148
Academic Journal
journal article
The cellular immune response to Onchocerca volvulus antigen (OvAg) was studied in 551 persons exposed to O. volvulus transmission in a hyperendemic area of Ghana, West Africa. A whole-blood assay showed that, in response to a soluble O. volvulus extract, cell proliferation, as well as interleukin (IL)-5 and IL-13 concentrations in the supernatants, were high in cultures of blood from microfilaria (mf)-negative persons and significantly decreased with increasing mf counts of the donors. Only background concentrations of interferon (IFN)-gamma were found, and these did not correlate with mf counts. In response to a mitogen, cells from all persons strongly reacted with proliferation and secretion of all 3 cytokines studied. These findings show that the response of human peripheral blood cells to OvAg does not include significant IFN-gamma production; that mf negativity is associated with IL-5 and IL-13 production but not, as previously suggested, with IFN-gamma production; and that IL-5 and IL-13 production decreases with increasing mf density.


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