ABSTRACT: An estimated quarter of the world's population possesses an infection caused by gastrointestinal nematodes, which induce a Th2 type immune response. Concomitant infection of nematodes with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which induces a predominantly Th1 type response, is very frequent in tropical and subtropical regions. This study examined immune responses of BALB/c mice infected with Strongyloides venezuelensis and then co-infected with Mycobacterium bovis. The number of worms in the intestine, eggs in feces, cytokine production in lungs and intestine and the expression of CD80, CD86, CTLA-4 and CD28 cell markers on pulmonary cells were analysed. Our results indicate that co-infected mice had an increased parasite burden, which correlates with elevated IFN-gamma and IL-10 cytokine production and decreased IL-4 and IL-13. Moreover, decreased expression of CD80 and increased expression of CTLA-4 were observed in co-infected mice. Our data point out that susceptibility to Strongyloides venezuelensis infection is increased by Mycobacterium bovis co-infection, resulting in higher parasite survival.
Parasitology 09/2009; 136(11):1357-65. · 2.96 Impact Factor