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PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e51512. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051512. Epub 2012 Dec 14.

Chronic Schistosoma japonicum infection reduces immune response to vaccine against hepatitis B in mice.

Author information

1
Department of Parasitology, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hepatitis B and schistosomiasis are most prevalent in Africa and Asia, and co-infections of both are frequent in these areas. The immunomodulation reported to be induced by schistosome infections might restrict immune control of hepatitis B virus (HBV) leading to more severe viral infection. Vaccination is the most effective measure to control and prevent HBV infection, but there is evidence for a reduced immune response to the vaccine in patients with chronic schistosomiasis japonica.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

In this paper, we demonstrate in a mouse model that a chronic Schistosoma japonicum infection can inhibit the immune response to hepatitis B vaccine (HBV vaccine) and lead to lower production of anti-HBs antibodies, interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-2 (IL-2). After deworming with Praziquantel (PZQ), the level of anti-HBs antibodies gradually increased and the Th2-biased profile slowly tapered. At 16 weeks after deworming, the levels of anti-HBs antibodies and Th1/Th2 cytokines returned to the normal levels.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

The results suggest that the preexisting Th2-dominated immune profile in the host infected with the parasite may down-regulate levels of anti-HBs antibodies and Th1 cytokines. To improve the efficacy of HBV vaccination in schistosome infected humans it may be valuable to treat them with praziquantel (PZQ) some time prior to HBV vaccination.

PMID:
23272112
PMCID:
PMC3522692
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0051512
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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