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Immune Responses Directed against Microfilariae Correlate with Severity of Clinical Onchodermatitis and Treatment History

Magdi M. Ali, Omer Z. Baraka, Suzan I. AbdelRahman, Suad M. Sulaiman, Jeffrey F. Williams, Mamoun M. Homeida and Charles D. Mackenzie
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 187, No. 4 (Feb. 15, 2003), pp. 714-717
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30085595
Page Count: 4
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Abstract

The induction of pathological changes in Onchocerca volvulus infections is directly related to the presence of the microfilarial stage of this filarial nematode. Patients with either of the 2 major forms of the clinical disease (i.e., asymptomatic/mild [n = 12] and severe [n = 16] dermatopathology) were studied. The cellular immune responses (cell proliferation) of those with severe disease were stronger (stimulation index [SI], 12.3 ± 1.9) than those with mild dermatopathological effects (SI, 2.9 ± 0.6) or control patients (SI, 4.5 ± 0.4). Cytoadherence antibody responses were greatest (grade 4) in the clinically severe group and only weak (grades ⩽ 1) in the mild group or the control patients. Ivermectin treatment was followed by an increase in immune responsiveness in those with initially poor responses. Thus, the degree of dermatopathological effect is related to the host's immune response against microfilariae, and ivermectin augments such responses.

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