[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immune responses to oral vaccines are impaired in populations living in conditions of poverty in developing countries, and there is evidence that concurrent geohelminth infections may contribute to this effect. We vaccinated 48 children living in rural communities in Ecuador with a single oral dose of 100 mg of BCG Moreau RDJ and measured the frequencies of tuberculin-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells expressing IFN-γ before and after vaccination. Vaccinated children had active ascariasis (n = 20) or had been infected but received short- (n = 13) or long-term (n = 15) repeated treatments with albendazole prior to vaccination to treat ascariasis. All children had a BCG scar from neonatal vaccination. There was no evidence of a boosting of postvaccination IFN-γ responses in any of the 3 study groups. Our data provide support for the presence of a barrier to oral vaccination among children from the rural tropics that appeared to be independent of concurrent ascariasis.
Journal of Tropical Medicine 01/2012; 2012:132583.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are associated with effects on systemic immune responses that could be caused by alterations in immune homeostasis. To investigate this, we measured the impact in children of STH infections on cytokine responses and gene expression in unstimulated blood.
Sixty children were classified as having chronic, light, or no STH infections. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were cultured in medium for 5 days to measure cytokine accumulation. RNA was isolated from peripheral blood and gene expression analysed using microarrays. Different infection groups were compared for the purpose of analysis: STH infection (combined chronic and light vs. uninfected groups) and chronic STH infection (chronic vs. combined light and uninfected groups). The chronic STH infection effect was associated with elevated production of GM-CSF (P=0.007), IL-2 (P=0.03), IL-5 (P=0.01), and IL-10 (P=0.01). Data reduction suggested that chronic infections were primarily associated with an immune phenotype characterized by elevated IL-5 and IL-10, typical of a modified Th2-like response. Chronic STH infections were associated with the up-regulation of genes associated with immune homeostasis (IDO, P=0.03; CCL23, P=0.008, HRK, P=0.005), down-regulation of microRNA hsa-let-7d (P=0.01) and differential regulation of several genes associated with granulocyte-mediated inflammation (IL-8, down-regulated, P=0.0002; RNASE2, up-regulated, P=0.009; RNASE3, up-regulated, p=0.03).
Chronic STH infections were associated with a cytokine response indicative of a modified Th2 response. There was evidence that STH infections were associated with a pattern of gene expression suggestive of the induction of homeostatic mechanisms, the differential expression of several inflammatory genes and the down-regulation of microRNA has-let-7d. Effects on immune homeostasis and the development of a modified Th2 immune response during chronic STH infections could explain the systemic immunologic effects that have been associated with these infections such as impaired immune responses to vaccines and the suppression of inflammatory diseases.