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Parasite Immunol. 2016 Oct;38(10):628-34. doi: 10.1111/pim.12351.

Host Th1/Th2 immune response to Taenia solium cyst antigens in relation to cyst burden of neurocysticercosis.

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Department of Neurological Sciences, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.,
Department of Neurological Sciences, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.
Laboratory of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.


Neurocysticercosis (NCC), Taenia solium larval infection of the brain, is an important cause of acquired seizures in endemic countries, which relate to number, location and degenerating cysts in the brain. Multicyst infections are common in endemic countries although single-cyst infection prevails in India. Single-cyst infections in an endemic country suggest a role for host immunity limiting the infection. This study examined ex vivo CD4(+) T cells and in vitro Th1 and Th2 cytokine responses to T. solium cyst antigens of peripheral blood mononuclear cells of healthy subjects from endemic and nonendemic regions and of single- and multicyst-infected patients for association with cyst burden of NCC. T. solium cyst antigens elicited a Th1 cytokine response in healthy subjects of T. solium-endemic and T. solium-non-endemic regions and those with single-cyst infections and a Th2 cytokine response from subjects with multicyst neurocysticercosis. Multicyst neurocysticercosis subjects also exhibited low levels of effector memory CD4(+) T cells. Th1 cytokine response of T. solium exposure and low infectious loads may aid in limiting cyst number. Th2 cytokines and low effector T cells may enable multiple-cyst infections to establish and persist.


CD4+ T cells; India; Taenia solium cyst antigens; cellular immunity; neurocysticercosis

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