92 research outputs found

    Homologs of the Brugia malayi diagnostic antigen BmR1 are present in other filarial parasites but induce different humoral immune responses

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    BACKGROUND: The recombinant antigen BmR1 has been extensively employed in both ELISA and immunochromatographic rapid dipstick (Brugia Rapid) formats for the specific and sensitive detection of IgG4 antibodies against the lymphatic filarial parasites Brugia malayi and Brugia timori. In sera of individuals infected with Wuchereria bancrofti the IgG4 reactivity to BmR1 is variable, and cross-reactivity of sera from individuals infected with Onchocerca volvulus or Loa loa was observed only in single cases. In order to characterize the homologs of the BmR1 antigen in W. bancrofti (Wb-BmR1), O. volvulus (Ov-BmR1) and L. loa (Ll-BmR1) the cDNA sequences were identified, the protein expressed and the antibody reactivity of patients' sera was studied. METHODS: PCR methodology was used to identify the cDNA sequences from cDNA libraries and/or genomic DNA of W. bancrofti, O. volvulus and L. loa. The clones obtained were sequenced and compared to the cDNA sequence of BmR1. Ov-BmR1 and Ll-BmR1 were expressed in E. coli and tested using an IgG4-ELISA with 262 serum samples from individuals with or without B. malayi, W. bancrofti, O. volvulus and L. loa infections or various other parasitic infections. BmR1, Ov-BmR1 and Ll-BmR1 were also tested for reactivity with the other three IgG subclasses in patients' sera. RESULTS: Wb-BmR1 was found to be identical to BmR1. Ov-BmR1 and Ll-BmR1 were found to be identical to each other and share 99.7% homology with BmR1. The pattern of IgG4 recognition of all serum samples to BmR1, Ov-BmR1 and Ll-BmR1 were identical. This included weak IgG4 reactivities demonstrated by L. loa- and O. volvulus-infected patients tested with Ov-BmR1 and Ll-BmR1 (or BmR1). With respect to reactivity to other IgG subclasses, sera from O. volvulus- and L. loa-infected patients showed positive reactions (when tested with BmR1, Ov-BmR1 or Ll-BmR1 antigens) only with IgG1. No reactivity was observed with IgG2 or with IgG3. Similarly, ELISAs to detect reactivity to other anti-filarial IgG subclasses antibodies showed that sera from individuals infected with B. malayi or W. bancrofti (active infections as well as patients with chronic disease) were positive with BmR1 only for IgG1 and were negative when tested with IgG2 and with IgG3 subclasses. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that homologs of the BmR1 antigen are present in W. bancrofti, O. volvulus and L. loa and that these antigens are highly conserved. Recognition of this antigen by patients' sera is similar with regard to IgG1, IgG2 and IgG3, but different for IgG4 antibodies. We conclude that the BmR1 antigen is suitable for detection of IgG4 antibodies in brugian filariasis. However, its homologs are not suitable for IgG4-based diagnosis of other filarial infections

    A flow cytometry based method for studying embryogenesis and immune reactivity to embryogenic stages in filarial parasites

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    BACKGROUND: In the absence of intermediate animal hosts, the process of embryogenesis leading to fecundity of adult female filarial worms is very critical for persistence of these obligate parasites in human communities. Embryogenesis in adult female filarial parasites involves fertilization of eggs or oocytes by sperms and their subsequent development into motile microfilariae inside the uterine cavity of worms. Development of assays for monitoring embryogenesis in adult female worms is a critical requirement in filariasis research – filarial worms are known to harbour endosymbionts such as Wolbachia which play a significant role in fecundity. Tetracycline or doxycycline treatment of the infected hosts effectively eliminates the endosymbionts resulting in inhibition of embryogenesis in female worms. Currently, inhibition of embryogenesis in adult filarial worms can be monitored only by microscopic examination of in vitro harvested intrauterine stages. METHODS: Adult female filarial worms of bovine filarial parasites, Setaria digitata were collected from the peritoneum of infected animals and intrauterine stages were harvested in culture medium and were analyzed for forward and side scatter by flowcytometry using a BD FACS Calibur. Different populations were gated, sorted and identified by phase microscopy. Binding of biotinylated lectins to intra uterine stages was monitored using FITC labeled Avidin and monitored by flow cytometry of gated populations. Similarly, binding of antibodies in human filarial sera to intrauterine stages was monitored using FITC labeled anti-human immunoglobulins. RESULTS: The forward and side scatter for intrauterine stages delineated 3 distinct populations labeled as R1, R2 and R3. The three populations were sorted and identified to be a) fully stretched microfilariae, b) early and c) late developmental stages of eggs respectively. Lectins such as Wheat Germ agglutinin or Concanavalin-A were found to bind strongly to egg stages and less prominently to intra-uterine microfilariae. Similarly the binding of antibodies in filarial sera to the three intra-uterine stages could also be precisely quantified. CONCLUSION: The manuscript reports a novel flow cytometry based method to monitor progression of embryogenesis in adult filarial worms. Apart from relative quantification of different intra uterine developmental stages, the assay allows quantitative binding of lectins and antibodies to each of the intrauterine stages. It may now be possible to quantify levels of antibodies in infected and immune hosts to monitor anti-fecundity immunity in filariasis – the assay can thus be used as a powerful tool for drug development and in immunological studies in human and experimental filariasis

    Association of ABO blood group with severe falciparum malaria in adults: case control study and meta-analysis

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Erythrocyte-associated antigenic polymorphisms or their absence have perhaps evolved in the human population to protect against malarial infection. Studies in various populations consistently demonstrate that blood group 'O' confers resistance against severe falciparum infection. In India, Odisha state has one of the highest incidences of <it>Plasmodium falciparum </it>infection and contributes to the highest number of deaths by falciparum malaria. This study aims to evaluate the relationship between ABO blood group and severe malaria in an adult population at the tertiary care centre in Odisha.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>A total of 353 <it>P. falciparum </it>infected subjects and 174 healthy controls were screened for ABO blood group. Falciparum-infected individuals were categorized as severe malaria and uncomplicated malaria. Severe malaria was further clinically phenotyped into cerebral malaria, non-cerebral severe malaria and multi-organ dysfunction. A meta-analysis was performed to assess the role of ABO blood group in severe malaria.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Frequency of blood group 'B' was significantly higher in patients with severe malaria compared to the uncomplicated cases (P < 0.0001; OR = 4.09) and healthy controls (P < 0.0001; OR = 2.79). Irrespective of the level of clinical severity, blood group 'B' was significantly associated with cerebral malaria (P < 0.0001; OR = 5.95), multi-organ dysfunction (P < 0.0001; OR = 4.81) and non-cerebral severe malaria patients (P = 0.001; OR = 3.02) compared to the uncomplicated category. Prevalence of 'O' group in uncomplicated malaria (P < 0.0001; OR = 2.81) and healthy controls (P = 0.0003; OR = 2.16) was significantly high compared to severe malaria. Meta-analysis of previous studies, including the current one, highlighted the protective nature of blood group 'O' to severe malaria (P = 0.01). On the other hand, carriers of blood group 'A' (P = 0.04) and 'AB' (P = 0.04) were susceptible to malaria severity.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Results of the current study indicate that blood group 'O' is associated with reduced and 'B' blood group with increased risk of development of severe malaria in Odisha, India. Meta-analysis also supports the protective nature of blood group 'O' from severe falciparum infection.</p

    Multifaceted Role of Heme during Severe Plasmodium falciparum Infections in India

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    Several immunomodulatory factors are involved in malaria pathogenesis. Among them, heme has been shown to play a role in the pathophysiology of severe malaria in rodents, but its role in human severe malaria remains unclear. Circulating levels of total heme and its main scavenger, hemopexin, along with cytokine/chemokine levels and biological parameters, including hemoglobin and creatinine levels, as well as transaminase activities, were measured in the plasma of 237 Plasmodium falciparum-infected patients living in the state of Odisha, India, where malaria is endemic. All patients were categorized into well-defined groups of mild malaria, cerebral malaria (CM), or severe noncerebral malaria, which included acute renal failure (ARF) and hepatopathy. Our results show a significant increase in total plasma heme levels with malaria severity, especially for CM and malarial ARF. Spearman rank correlation and canonical correlation analyses have shown a correlation between total heme, hemopexin, interleukin-10, tumor necrosis factor alpha, gamma interferon-induced protein 10 (IP-10), and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) levels. In addition, canonical correlations revealed that heme, along with IP-10, was associated with the CM pathophysiology, whereas both IP-10 and MCP-1 together with heme discriminated ARF. Altogether, our data indicate that heme, in association with cytokines and chemokines, is involved in the pathophysiology of both CM and ARF but through different mechanisms.Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research, Associated International Laboratory Systems (LIA; CNRS), Immunology and Genetics of Infectious Diseases (SIGID), Department of Biotechnology from the Ministry of Science and Technology of India (DBT), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) (intramural funds), Université Lille (doctoral contract), IFCPAR (Raman-Charpak award), College Doctoral Lille Nord de France (AAP n10 award), Fondation des Treille, Conseil Régional du Nord-Pas de Calais

    Multicentre evaluations of two new rapid IgG4 tests (WB rapid and panLF rapid) for detection of lymphatic filariasis

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    In the global effort to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (LF), rapid field-applicable tests are useful tools that will allow on-site testing to be performed in remote places and the results to be obtained rapidly. Exclusive reliance on the few existing tests may jeopardize the progress of the LF elimination program, thus the introduction of other rapid tests would be useful to address this issue. Two new rapid immunochromatographic IgG4 cassette tests have been produced, namely WB rapid and panLF rapid, for detection of bancroftian filariasis and all three species of lymphatic filaria respectively. WB rapid was developed using BmSXP recombinant antigen, while PanLF rapid was developed using BmR1 and BmSXP recombinant antigens. A total of 165 WB rapid and 276 panLF rapid tests respectively were evaluated at USM and the rest were couriered to another university in Malaysia (98 WB rapid, 129 panLF rapid) and to universities in Indonesia (56 WB rapid, 62 panLF rapid), Japan (152 of each test) and India (18 of each test) where each of the tests underwent independent evaluations in a blinded manner. The average sensitivities of WB rapid and panLF rapid were found to be 97.6% (94%–100%) and 96.5% (94%–100%) respectively; while their average specificities were both 99.6% (99%–100%). Thus this study demonstrated that both the IgG4 rapid tests were highly sensitive and specific, and would be useful additional tests to facilitate the global drive to eliminate this disease

    Caspase Dependent Programmed Cell Death in Developing Embryos: A Potential Target for Therapeutic Intervention against Pathogenic Nematodes

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    Pathogenic nematodes currently infect billions of people around the world and pose serious challenges to the economic welfare and public health in most developing countries. At present, limitations of existing therapies warrant identification of new anti-parasitic drugs/drug targets to effectively treat and control neglected tropical diseases [NTD] caused by nematode pathogens. The current gold standard for measuring/screening drug effectiveness against most helminth parasites is in-vitro assessment of motility of parasites/larvae and larval development assays which fails to provide any conclusive idea about the precise mechanism of death of parasitic worms or their larval stages. Given the huge load of parasites or their larval stages in an infected host, a compound which shows promise in in-vitro/motility screening assays but induces necrotic death in parasites/larvae will be of limited use, as it may elicit severe inflammatory response in infected hosts. In this context, the present study, which demonstrates induction of apoptotic death in developing embryos of a pathogenic nematode as a potential drug target for the first time, and provides scope for high throughput screening of pharmacological agents for their apoptogenicity against nematode embryos, is a step forward to develop novel anti-parasitic measures to challenge NTD caused by nematode pathogens

    Chitohexaose Activates Macrophages by Alternate Pathway through TLR4 and Blocks Endotoxemia

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    Sepsis is a consequence of systemic bacterial infections leading to hyper activation of immune cells by bacterial products resulting in enhanced release of mediators of inflammation. Endotoxin (LPS) is a major component of the outer membrane of Gram negative bacteria and a critical factor in pathogenesis of sepsis. Development of antagonists that inhibit the storm of inflammatory molecules by blocking Toll like receptors (TLR) has been the main stay of research efforts. We report here that a filarial glycoprotein binds to murine macrophages and human monocytes through TLR4 and activates them through alternate pathway and in the process inhibits LPS mediated classical activation which leads to inflammation associated with endotoxemia. The active component of the nematode glycoprotein mediating alternate activation of macrophages was found to be a carbohydrate residue, Chitohexaose. Murine macrophages and human monocytes up regulated Arginase-1 and released high levels of IL-10 when incubated with chitohexaose. Macrophages of C3H/HeJ mice (non-responsive to LPS) failed to get activated by chitohexaose suggesting that a functional TLR4 is critical for alternate activation of macrophages also. Chitohexaose inhibited LPS induced production of inflammatory molecules TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 by macropahges in vitro and in vivo in mice. Intraperitoneal injection of chitohexaose completely protected mice against endotoxemia when challenged with a lethal dose of LPS. Furthermore, Chitohexaose was found to reverse LPS induced endotoxemia in mice even 6/24/48 hrs after its onset. Monocytes of subjects with active filarial infection displayed characteristic alternate activation markers and were refractory to LPS mediated inflammatory activation suggesting an interesting possibility of subjects with filarial infections being less prone to develop of endotoxemia. These observations that innate activation of alternate pathway of macrophages by chtx through TLR4 has offered novel opportunities to cell biologists to study two mutually exclusive activation pathways of macrophages being mediated through a single receptor

    Bruton’s tyrosine kinase deficiency in macrophages inhibits nitric oxide generation leading to enhancement of IL-12 induction

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    We show that macrophages of X-linked immunodeficient mice with a mutant nonfunctional Bruton’s tyrosine kinase produce less NO than wild-type macrophages in response to a variety of stimuli. Induction of the inducible NO synthase (iNOS) protein, the transcription factor IFN regulatory factor-1 involved in iNOS expression and the transcription factor STAT-1 involved in regulating IFN regulatory factor-1 induction are all poorer in X-linked immunodeficient than in wild-type macrophages. On the other hand, induction of IL-12 is higher in X-linked immunodeficient than in wild-type macrophages. Macrophage IL-12 induction is enhanced by iNOS inhibitors such as aminoguanidine and thiocitrulline and is inhibited by NO generation via sodium nitroprusside. There is relative enhancement of IFN-&#947; production by immune T cells from mice immunized under aminoguanidine cover. Our data thus suggest that Bruton’s tyrosine kinase participates in signaling for iNOS induction via IFN regulatory factor-1 in macrophages and that NO is an inhibitor of IL-12 induction. The cytokine effector molecules produced by effector T cells generated by immunization in vivo are centrally involved in optimal clearance of infections. Macrophage activating proinflammatory “type 1” cytokines such as IFN-&#947; are essential for clearance of intracellular bacterial infections (1, 2), while “type 2” cytokines involved in B cell help such as IL-4 and IL-5 are more relevant for extracellular infections (3, 4). The differential commitment of responding T cells to producing either the type 1 (IFN-&#947;, TNF-&#946;) or the type 2 (IL-4, IL-5, IL-10) cytokine groups (5, 6, 7) is regulated by both cognate and noncognate signals to T cells (8, 9, 10). Cytokine-mediated signals of APC origin are prominent among these. IL-6, IL-10 and IL-12 can all be produced by macrophages (11, 12, 13). While IL-6 and IL-10 drive T cells to the type 2 effector pathway (14, 15), IL-12 is the major APC cytokine known to drive them to IFN-&#947; production as well as enhance T cell proliferation (16, 17, 18). All these APC-derived cytokines are inducible by a variety of environmental, potentially pathogen-derived stimuli (19, 20, 21). Thus, the induction of costimulatory cytokines on APCs appears to be a major factor in T cell priming, and the regulation of induction of these cytokines becomes an issue of interest in understanding how T cell responses are controlled. This induction of costimulatory cytokines from APCs is commonly seen to occur in response to the same stimuli that lead to APC activation for effector purposes, such as macrophage activation for phagocytosis and pathogen clearance. Molecules induced during such effector activation of macrophages prominently include generators of free radicals such as NO (22, 23). The connections between the induction of costimulatory and effector molecules in activated APCs are likely to be a point of immunoregulatory control. Signal transduction events in APCs are one target of studies involving the regulation of induction of costimulatory and effector cytokines and their effects on each other (24, 25). Nonreceptor-associated tyrosine kinases have been shown to be important components of many signaling cascades. One such enzyme, Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (Btk),3 is expressed in both B cell and myeloid APC lineages (26, 27), but its functional significance has so far been examined mainly in the context of B cell activation (28, 29). We report here its role in regulating NO induction and IL-12 production in macrophages using mice carrying a mutation in the btk gene and demonstrate the cross-regulatory control of IL-12 production by NO