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J Infect Dis. 2005 Aug 1;192(3):528-36. Epub 2005 Jun 30.

Nutritional status and serum cytokine profiles in children, adolescents, and young adults with Schistosoma japonicum-associated hepatic fibrosis, in Leyte, Philippines.

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International Health Institute, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.


In a cross-sectional study of 641 Schistosoma japonicum-infected individuals in Leyte, Philippines, who were 7-30 years old, we determined the grade of hepatic fibrosis (HF) by ultrasound and used anthropometric measurements and hemoglobin levels to assess nutritional status. Serum levels of interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, and IL-10; tumor-necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha; soluble TNF- alpha receptor I; and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured to examine the association between these markers of inflammation and HF grade. HF was present in 8.9% of the cohort; the majority of cases were mild (grade I), and severe (grade II or grade III) cases occurred only in male individuals. Compared with individuals without HF, those with severe HF--and, to a lesser degree, those with mild HF--had a significantly lower body-mass index (BMI) and BMI z-score, a higher prevalence of anemia, and a higher level of CRP and were more likely to produce IL-6; furthermore, those with severe HF had a significantly higher level of IL-1, compared with those either without HF or with mild HF. These findings suggest that even mild HF is associated with nutritional morbidity and underscore the importance of early recognition and treatment. In addition, our data are consistent with the hypothesis that, by systemically increasing the levels of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1 and IL-6, HF causes undernutrition and anemia.

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