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Infect Immun. Jun 2004; 72(6): 3391–3397.
PMCID: PMC415716

Association of Type 2 Cytokines with Hepatic Fibrosis in Human Schistosoma mansoni Infection


The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of cytokines in hepatic fibrosis in the prehepatosplenic and early hepatosplenic stages of schistosomiasis mansoni. Hepatic fibrosis was classified by ultrasonography of 94 patients. Immunological evaluation was performed by the measurement of secreted cytokines (interleukin-5 [IL-5], IL-10, IL-13, gamma interferon, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and transforming growth factor β) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) stimulated by Schistosoma mansoni antigens. Significantly, higher levels of IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13 were found in supernatants of soluble egg antigen-stimulated PBMC from subjects with degree III hepatic fibrosis compared to patients with degree I or II fibrosis. Significant increases in IL-5 and IL-13 levels were also observed in some of the subjects who remained untreated for 1 year following initial assessment and developed more serious fibrosis during this period. The data suggest a role for type 2 cytokines in hepatic fibrosis in human schistosomiasis mansoni.

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