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Parasite Immunol. 2000 Nov;22(11):581-8.

Coinfection with Borrelia burgdorferi and the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis suppresses IL-2 and IFN gamma production and promotes an IL-4 response in C3H/HeJ mice.

Author information

1
Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PO Box 2087, Rampart Road, Foothills Campus, Fort Collins, CO 80522, USA. naz2@cdc.gov

Abstract

Previously we demonstrated that Borrelia burgdorferi transmission by Ixodes scapularis suppressed IL-2 and IFN gamma production and promoted IL-4 production in mice. The present studies were conducted to determine whether coinfection with the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HE) agent would promote a Th2 cytokine response in mice. Transmission to the spleen of the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (aoHGE) and B. burgdorferi occurred 4 and 7 days, respectively, after tick infestation. Coinfection synergized to suppress splenic IL-2 production 7-14 days after tick infestion. Transmission of B. burgdorferi or aoHGE alone significantly decreased splenic IFN gamma 4-7 days after tick infestation, while coinfection suppressed IFN gamma production 7-14 days after tick infestation. Splenic IL-4 production was significantly increased 4 days after coinfection, and by day 10, aoHGE plus B. burgdorferi induced greater splenic IL-4 (57.2 pg/ml, 348% of control values) than either organism transmitted alone (aoHGE, 22.7 pg/ml, B. burgdorferi, 25.1 pg/ml). Coinfection enhanced expansion of splenic T cells, CD4+ lymphocytes and B cells while decreasing CD8+ T cells. These data demonstrate that aoHGE and B. burgdorferi, when cotransmitted, suppress a systemic IL-2 and IFN gamma response, while strongly promoting systemic IL-4 production in the susceptible host. The antigen(s) responsible for this polarization are unknown and will be the subject of future studies.

PMID:
11116438
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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