Modulation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis -specific humoral immune responses is associated with Strongyloides stercoralis co-infection.


Anuradha, R .; Munisankar, S .; Bhootra, Y .; Dolla, C .; Kumaran, P .; Nutman, T.B .;


PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases; 2 017; 11; e0005569.


Abstract: Background / Objectives: Helminth infections are known to influence T cell responses in latent tuberculosis (LTBI). Whether helminth infections also modulate B cell responses in helminth-tuberculosis coinfection is not known.


Methods: We assessed Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb)-antigen specific IgM and IgG levels, circulating levels of the B cell growth factors, BAFF and APRIL and the absolute numbers of the various B cell subsets in individuals with LTBI, LTBI with coincident Strongyloides stercoralis (Ss) infection (LTBI/Ss) and in those with Ss infection alone (Ss). We also measured the above-mentioned parameters in the LTBI-Ss group after anthelmintic therapy.


Results: Our data reveal that LTBI-Ss exhibit significantly diminished levels of Mtb-specific IgM and IgG, BAFF and APRIL levels in comparison to those with LTBI. Similarly, those with LTBISs had significantly diminished numbers of all B cell subsets (naïve, immature, classical memory, activated memory, atypical memory and plasma cells) compared to those with LTBI. There was a positive correlation between Mtb-antigen specific IgM and IgG levels and BAFF and APRIL levels that were in turn related to the numbers of activated memory B cells, atypical memory B cells and plasma cells. Finally, anthelmintic treatment resulted in significantly increased levels of Mtb-antigen specific IgM and IgG levels and the numbers of each of the B cell subsets.


Conclusions: Our data, therefore, reveal that Ss infection is associated with significant modulation of Mtb-specific antibody responses, the levels of B cell growth factors and the numbers of B cells (and their component subsets).



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