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Trop Parasitol. 2019 Jan-Jun;9(1):30-35. doi: 10.4103/tp.TP_32_18. Epub 2019 May 22.

Prophylactic interferon-γ and interleukin-17 facilitate parasite clearance in experimental visceral leishmaniasis.

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Department of Transplant Immunology and Immunogenetics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Amity Institute of Virology and Immunology, Amity University, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Division of Parasitology and Molecular and Structural Biology, CSIR-CDRI, Jankipuram Extension, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.


Background and Objective:

The synergy of interleukin (IL)-17 along with other pro-inflammatory cytokines is well known in various autoimmune and infectious diseases. A longitudinal study in the Sudanese population showed an association of IL-17 with the protection of kala-azar outbreak. The protective role of IL-17 is also known in terms of expansion of IL-17-producing cells in vaccine-induced immunity. However, the prophylactic role of IL-17 in visceral leishmaniasis has still not been validated. In the present study, we evaluated the prophylactic efficacy of IL-17A and interferon (IFN)-γ in Leishmania donovani-challenged Balb/c mice.

Materials and Methods:

Two doses of recombinant IL (rIL)-17A and/or IFN-γ were administered intraperitoneally after/at 1 week interval and then the mice were challenged with amastigote form of L. donovani. At 45 days of postchallenge, mice were sacrificed and evaluated for change in the body and organ weight, parasitic load in visceral organs, and fold change in gene expression of cytokines.


We observed that the prophylactic use of rIL-17A and IFN-γ alone or in combination significantly inhibited the parasitic load in visceral organs. Furthermore, pro-inflammatory cytokine gene expression increased up to 2-4-folds in mice treated with recombinant cytokines.


Our results suggest that prophylactic use of recombinant IFN-γ and IL-17A inhibits parasitic growth in visceral organs of L. donovani-challenged experimental mice model, especially through upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines' gene expression.


Balb/c mice; interleukin-17; prophylactic; visceral leishmaniasis

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