Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
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Infection-associated Immune Perturbations Resolve 1 Year Following Treatment for Loa loa.

BACKGROUND: We have previously demonstrated that eosinophil-associated processes underlie some of the differences in clinical presentation among patients with Loa loa infection prior to therapy and that some posttreatment adverse events appear to be dependent on eosinophil activation.

METHODS: We first conducted a retrospective review of 204 patients (70 microfilaria [MF] positive/134 negative) with Loa loa both before and following definitive therapy. We then measured filarial-specific antibodies, eosinophil- and Th2-associated cytokines, and eosinophil granule proteins in their banked serum prior to and at 1 year following definitive treatment. We also evaluated the influence of pretreatment corticosteroids and/or apheresis in altering the efficacy of treatment.

RESULTS: Patients without circulating microfilariae (MF negative) not only had a higher likelihood of peripheral eosinophilia and increased antifilarial antibody levels but also had significantly increased concentrations of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interleukin (IL) 5, and IL-4 compared with MF-positive patients. However, these differences had all resolved by 1 year after treatment, when all parameters approached the levels seen in uninfected individuals. Neither pretreatment with corticosteroids nor apheresis reduced the efficacy of the diethylcarbamazine used to treat these subjects.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results highlight that, by 1 year following treatment, infection-associated immunologic abnormalities had resolved in nearly all patients treated for loiasis, and pretreatment corticosteroids had no influence on the resolution of the immunologic perturbations nor on the efficacy of diethylcarbamazine as a curative agent in loiasis.


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