CD4+ T cells mediate mucosal and systemic immune responses to experimental hookworm infection

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Department or Administrative Unit

Biological Sciences

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Hookworm infection is associated with anaemia and malnutrition in many resource-limited countries. Ancylostoma hookworms have previously been shown to modulate host cellular immune responses through multiple mechanisms, including reduced mitogen-mediated lymphocyte proliferation, impaired antigen presentation/processing, and relative reductions in CD4+ T cells in the spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes. Syrian hamsters were depleted of CD4+ for up to 9 days following intraperitoneal injection (200 μg) of a murine anti-mouse CD4 monoclonal IgG (clone GK1·5). CD4+ T-cell-depleted hamsters infected with the hookworm Ancylostoma ceylanicum exhibited a threefold higher mean intestinal worm burden and more severe anaemia than animals that received isotype control IgG. In addition, depletion of CD4+ T cells was associated with impaired cellular and humoral (serum and mucosal) immune responses to hookworm antigens. These data demonstrate an effector role for CD4+ T cells in hookworm immunity and disease pathogenesis. Ultimately, these studies may yield important insights into the relationship between intestinal nematode infections and diseases that are associated with CD4+ T-cell depletion, including HIV.


This article was originally published in Parasite Immunology. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

An author's accepted manuscript version is available on PubMed Central.

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Parasite Immunology


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