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J Infect. 2009 Aug;59(2):139-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2009.05.010. Epub 2009 Jun 6.

Immune response to Leishmania antigen in anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis.

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  • 1Immunology department, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.



Leishmania (L.) tropica is the causative agent of anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) in Iran. The disease often heals within a year; however, the non-healing forms of disease are also known. The immunologic responses to L. major infection have been studied in depth, however little is known about the immune status of L. tropica-infected patients.


This study was conducted to evaluate T-cell responses to Leishmania antigen in non-healing patients, patients with acute lesion, and healthy donors. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were cultured with antigen and lymphoproliferative responses were determined. Cytokine profile including gamma interferon (IFN-gamma), interleukin (IL)-5, and IL-13 in supernatants of stimulated cells was also determined.


The results showed PBMC from both groups of patients proliferated vigorously in response to Leishmania antigens. The levels of IFN-gamma and IL-13 were comparable between patients with acute lesions and non-healing patients. Non-healing patients had significantly higher median levels of IL-5 than patients with acute lesions. The cells from healthy individuals did not respond to Leishmania antigens.


High levels of IFN-gamma, IL-5, and IL-13 in non-healing patients suggest a mixed Th1/Th2 response, whereas patients with acute lesion respond to infection by Th1-type response.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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