Differences in the Frequency of Cytokine-Producing Cells in Antigenemic and Nonantigenemic Individuals with Bancroftian Filariasis

Academic Article


  • Individuals with clinical manifestations of lymphatic filariasis may be currently infected or not. Twenty-five individuals from a Wuchereria bancrofti-endemic area of Brazil were classified as being asymptomatic micro-filaremic individuals, antigenemic individuals with clinical filariasis, or nonantigenemic individuals with clinical filariasis. Intracellular cytokine staining of mitogen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) showed that the frequency of either gamma interferon (IFN-γ)- or interleukin-4 (IL-4)-producing cells was higher in the nonantigenemic individuals with clinical filariasis than in the asymptomatic microfilaremic individuals (geometric means, 22.1 versus 10.7% [P = 0.02] and 2.9 versus 1.4% [P = 0.01], respectively). When the asymptomatic microfilaremic individuals and antigenemic individuals with clinical filariasis were grouped together to constitute all actively infected individuals, the frequency of IFN-γ-producing cells was also lower than in the nonantigenemic individuals with clinical filariasis (P = 0.04). Likewise, the frequency of IL-4-producing cells in the actively infected individuals was also lower than in the nonantigenemic individuals with clinical filariasis (P = 0.02). No differences in the frequency of IFN-γ-, IL-4-, or IL-5-producing cells in purified CD4 T lymphocytes were found among the groups. These findings suggest that the presence of antigenemia, which is an indicator of current active infection, is closely associated with the frequency of IFN-γ- and IL-4-producing cells in lymphatic filariasis. The differences found in the frequency of cytokine-producing cells among the three groups appear to be due to a subset of cells other than CD4 T cells.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 2841608
  • Author List

  • De Almeida AB; Maia E Silva MC; Braga C; Freedman DO
  • Start Page

  • 1377
  • End Page

  • 1383
  • Volume

  • 66
  • Issue

  • 4