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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 1997 Jan-Feb;92(1):15-20.

Asymptomatic Leishmania chagasi infection in relatives and neighbors of patients with visceral leishmaniasis.

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Laboratório de Imunologia, Hospital Universitário Prof. Edgar Santos, Salvador, BA, Brasil.


The frequency of asymptomatic infection among relatives and neighbors of cases of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) was compared and characterization of the immunological response in these subjects was performed. Cases were from a new endemic area close to the beach and near Salvador capital of the State of Bahia, Brazil. The characterization of asymptomatic infection was made using a skin reaction test and detection of antibody to Leishmania chagasi by the ELISA test. To characterize the immunological response of these subjects with asymptomatic L. chagasi infection the cytokines profile and the lymphoproliferative response were determined after stimulation of lymphocytes by L. chagasi antigen. There was no difference in the frequency of L. chagasi infection in relatives (45%) and in neighbors (27%) of cases of VL (P > 0.05). The immunological response from these subjects was characterized by high production of IFN-gamma and a low production of IL-10 and a good lymphoproliferative response to L. chagasi antigen.

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