Altered levels of memory T cell subsets and common ?c cytokines in Strongyloides stercoralis infection and partial reversal following anthelmintic treatment.


Anuradha, R.; Munisankar, S.; Bhootra, Y.; Dolla, C.K.; Kannan, T.; Nutman, T.B. Babu, S.


PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases; 2018; 12(5): e0006481.


Abstract: Background: CD4 + and CD8 + T cells are central players in immunity to helminth infections. However, the role of T cell subsets in human helminth infections is not well understood. In addition, the common?c cytokines, IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, IL-9 and IL-15 play an important role in the maintenance of these CD4 + and CD8 + T cell subsets.


Methods: To examine the major T cell subsets and their association with the common?c cytokines, the absolute numbers of CD4 + and CD8 + naïve, central memory, effector memory and effector cells and the plasma levels of IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, IL-9 and IL-15 were measured in Strongyloides stercoralis (Ss) infected (INF, n = 60), helminth—uninfected (UN, n = 58) and in post treatment INF individuals.


Results: Ss infection is characterized by significantly increased absolute numbers of naïve and decreased absolute numbers of central and effector memory CD4 + T cells in comparison to UN individuals. No significant difference in the numbers of CD8 + T cell subsets was observed between the groups. The numbers of naïve cells and central memory CD4 + T cells were significantly reversed after anthelmintic treatment. Circulating levels of IL-2, IL-7 and IL-15 were significantly diminished, whereas the levels of IL-4 and IL-9 were significantly increased in INF compared to UN individuals. Following anthelminthic treatment, IL-2, IL-7 and IL-15 levels were significantly increased, while IL-4 and IL-9 levels were significantly decreased. Our data also showed a significant positive correlation between the levels of IL7 and the numbers of central and effector memory CD4 + T cells.


Conclusion: Ss infection is characterized by alterations in the absolute numbers of CD4 + T cell subsets and altered levels of common?c cytokines IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, IL-9 and IL-15; alterations which are partially reversed after anthelmintic treatment.


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