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Parasite Immunol. 2011 Feb;33(2):132-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3024.2010.01256.x.

IL-17 and Regulatory Cytokines (IL-10 and IL-27) in L. braziliensis Infection.

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Serviço de Imunologia, Complexo Hospitalar Universitário Professor Edgard Santos, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.


Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is characterized by high production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and development of pathology. Individuals with subclinical L. braziliensis infection (SC) have a positive skin test to leishmania, but do not develop disease. We evaluated whether the downregulation of inflammatory response in SC is mediated by IL-10 and IL-27 and whether IL-17 is associated with control of infection. Participants include SC individuals, patients with CL and healthy subjects. Cytokines protein and mRNA were detected by ELISA and real-time PCR. IFN-γ and TNF-α levels were higher in CL than in SC group. The IL-10 levels and mRNA for IL-10 were similar in both SC and CL. mRNA for IL-27 was increased in cells from SC after stimulation with L. braziliensis antigen. There was a tendency for increased levels of IL-17 in SC compared to CL. The weak type 1 immune response observed in SC L. braziliensis infection is not because of the regulatory effects of IL-10 and IL-27. The control of Leishmania infection may be mediated by innate immune response with participation of IL-17. The results from this pilot study warrant further larger studies to investigate the potential contributions of IL-17 and IL-27 to the control of L. braziliensis infection.

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