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Clin Exp Immunol. 1996 Feb;103(2):239-43.

Immune dysregulation in Ethiopian immigrants in Israel: relevance to helminth infections?

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R. Ben-Ari Institute of Clinical Immunology, Kaplan Hospital, Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Rehovot, Israel.


The infectious disease background and particularly the helminth infections that are endemic in Africa could have profound effects on the host immune system. Studies that we have performed on an Ethiopian HIV- immigrant population that has recently reached Israel, lend support to this notion. They have indeed revealed a very high prevalence of helminth and several other infections with an extreme immune dysregulation, consisting of: (i) highly elevated plasma IgE, IgG, placental isoferritin, p75 soluble TNF receptor (sTNFR) levels and very high blood eosinophilia; (ii) increased secretion from phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-simulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of the cytokines IL-2, IL-4, IL-10 and p75 sTNFR, and decreased secretion of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and IL-6; (iii) increased and decreased surface expression of p75 TNFR and IL-6 receptor on lymphocytes, respectively. The causal relationship between this immune dysregulation and the infectious background is highly suggestive, and could have far-reaching implications in the resistance to other infections.

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