Neutrophil counts in persons of African origin
ABSTRACT The causes of ethnic or benign neutropenia have long been unclear. Here, we discuss the emerging data on the causes and consequences of neutropenia and discuss the relevance of these data for African populations, in which the prevalence of neutropenia is high.
Genetic deletion of the Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines (DARC-null genotype) has been identified as a major determinant for neutropenia. DARC acts as a receptor for Plasmodium vivax malaria and the DARC-null genotype has thus been positively selected among Africans; however, recent studies suggest that Duffy-null-linked neutropenia could increase the risk of HIV infection. Data are emerging that neutrophils are versatile cells that play a critical role not only in direct antimicrobial activity but also in priming and regulating the activity of other innate and adaptive immune cells. Therefore, we discuss here the imperative to better understand the causes, consequences, and the underlying mechanisms of neutropenia among Africans as a prerequisite for rational and optimal biomedical interventions to improve health outcomes.
Neutropenia among Africans, linked to the Duffy-null trait or otherwise, may have significant health consequences that remain largely undetermined and could have a significant impact on the pathogenesis of diseases.
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ABSTRACT: 37 million individuals are currently infected with Onchocerca volvulus (O. volvulus), a parasitic nematode that elicits various dermal manifestations and eye damage in man. Disease control is primarily based on distributing ivermectin in mass drug administration (MDA) programmes which aim at breaking transmission by eliminating microfilariae (MF), the worm's offspring. The majority of infected individuals present generalized onchocerciasis, which is characterized by hyporesponsive immune responses and high parasite burden including MF. Recently, in areas that have been part of MDA programmes, individuals have been identified that present nodules but are amicrofilaridermic (a-MF) and our previous study showed that this group has a distinct immune profile. Expanding on those findings we determined the immune responses of O. volvulus-infected individuals to a Plasmodium-derived antigen MSP-1 (merozoite surface protein-1), which is required by the parasite to enter erythrocytes. Isolated PBMCs from O. volvulus-infected individuals (164 MF+ and 46 a-MF) and non-infected volunteers from the same region (NEN), were stimulated with MSP-1 and the resulting supernatant screened for the presence of IL-5, IL-13, IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-17A and IL-10. These findings were then further analyzed following regression analysis using the covariates MF, ivermectin (IVM) and region. The latter referred to the Central or Ashanti regions of Ghana, which, at the time sampling, had received 8 or 1 round of MDA respectively. IL-5, IL-13 and IFN-γ responses to MSP-1 were not altered between NEN and O. volvulus-infected individuals nor were any associations revealed in the regression analysis. IL-10, IL-6 and TNF-α MSP-1 responses were, however, significantly elevated in cultures from infected individuals. Interestingly, when compared to a-MF individuals, MSP-induced IL-17A responses were significantly higher in MF+ patients. Following multivariable regression analysis these IL-10, IL-6, TNF-α and IL-17A responses were all dominantly associated with the regional covariate. Consequently, areas with a lowered infection pressure due to IVM MDA appear to influence bystander responses to Plasmodium-derived antigens in community members even if they have not regularly participated in the therapy.Parasites & Vectors 03/2015; 8(1). DOI:10.1186/s13071-015-0786-5 · 3.25 Impact Factor