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Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1983 May;27(2):176-86.

Characterization of the cellular immune response in American cutaneous leishmaniasis.


The in vitro and in vivo cellular immune reactivity of 49 patients with American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) was evaluated using mitogens and parasite antigens. Patients were examined before treatment and were classified on the basis of clinical and histopathological criteria as suffering localized cutaneous leishmaniasis (LCL, 32 patients) or mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL, 11 patients). A small group (6 patients) of treated diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis (DCL) patients was also examined. The lymphocyte proliferative responses to PHA were significantly lower than those of controls (87 individuals, from either endemic or nonendemic zones) in LCL, and particularly MCL. Con A responses were, however, effectively normal in these patients. Both in vivo and in vitro cellular immune responses to leishmanial antigens were significantly greater in MCL and LCL patients than in the controls, the intensity of the reactions being by far the greatest in MCL. DCL patients demonstrated a complete absence of specific immune responsiveness both in vivo and in vitro. The significance of these results in the mechanisms leading to the resolution of the infection or production of pathologic lesions is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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