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J Infect Dis. 2000 Oct;182(4):1207-13. Epub 2000 Sep 8.

Human infection with Ascaris lumbricoides is associated with a polarized cytokine response.

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Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-0425, USA.


To define the cytokine response to Ascaris lumbricoides infection, the cellular immune response to adult and larval-stage Ascaris antigens in young adults with moderate infection intensities (n=73) was compared with that of a group of uninfected control subjects (n=40). A. lumbricoides-infected subjects had significantly greater lymphoproliferative responses to adult and larval-stage antigens, compared with uninfected control subjects (P<.01). The frequencies of parasite antigen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-expressing interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5 were significantly greater in the infected group (P<.001), whereas the frequencies of IL-10- and interferon-gamma-expressing PBMC were similar in the 2 groups studied. The ratios of Th2 to Th1 cytokine frequencies were significantly elevated in the infected group, compared with those in uninfected subjects, as was IL-5 protein production by PBMC stimulated with adult (P<.05) and L3/L4 stage (P<.001) antigens. Analysis of these data indicates that A. lumbricoides infections in endemic regions are associated with a highly polarized type 2 cytokine response.

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