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Clin Exp Immunol. 2000 Sep;121(3):484-90.

Resistance/susceptibility to Echinococcus multilocularis infection and cytokine profile in humans. I. Comparison of patients with progressive and abortive lesions.

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WHO Collaborating Centre on Prevention and Treatment of Human Echinococcosis, Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie, Besançon Cedex, France.


To clarify the role of Th1- and Th2-type cytokines in the various outcomes of human alveolar echinococcosis (AE), the cytokine immune response of self-cured patients was studied and compared with those of progressive AE patients and healthy subjects. Self-cured patients were divided into two groups according to the following clinical features: subjects who had positive Echinococcus multilocularis serologies and hepatic calcifications typical of AE were classified as 'abortive AE' patients, and those who had positive E. multilocularis serologies but no hepatic lesions or calcifications detectable by ultrasonography were classified as 'positive serology' subjects. Secretions of IL-5, IL-10 and interferon-gamma, and expression of IL-5 mRNA were evaluated in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) stimulated in vitro with the mitogen phytohaemagglutinin-C or specific E. multilocularis antigenic preparations. The cytokine profile of abortive AE patients was the opposite of that observed in progressive AE patients. An intermediate profile was observed in positive serology subjects. PBMC from abortive AE patients, whether non-stimulated or stimulated with PHA and antigenic preparations, secreted significantly lower levels of IL-10 than those isolated from progressive AE patients. Our observations seem to confirm the regulatory role of IL-10 in the immunopathology of human AE.

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