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Immune Protection Against Lethal Parasitic Disease

Date:
July 21, 2009
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Kala azar is a lethal disease caused by infection with the protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani. Scientists have now obtained new insight into the human immune responses responsible for protection against kala azar.

Kala azar is a lethal disease caused by infection with the protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani. Alain Dessein and colleagues, at INSERM UMR 906, France, have now obtained new insight into the human immune responses responsible for protection against kala azar.

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Although the immune molecules IL-17 and IL-22, which are produced by immune cells known as Th17 cells, provide protection against some bacteria and fungal pathogens in animal models, their role in protection against microbes has not been determined in humans. In this study, analysis of a subset of blood cells (peripheral blood mononuclear cells) from individuals who were infected with Leishmania donovani and developed kala azar and those who were infected with the protozoan parasite but did not develop kala azar showed that IL-17 and IL-22 were strongly and independently associated with resistance to kala azar.

Further analysis indicated that peripheral blood mononuclear cells from individuals who developed kala azar produced lower levels of the factors required for the induction of Th17 cells. As peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy individuals produced high levels of IL-17 and IL-22 when exposed to Leishmania donovani in vitro, the authors conclude that IL-17 and IL-22 have important complementary roles in protecting individuals from developing kala azar following infection with Leishmania donovani.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. IL-17 and IL-22 are associated with protection against human kala azar caused by Leishmania donovani. Journal Of Clinical Investigation, July 13, 2009

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Immune Protection Against Lethal Parasitic Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713201440.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2009, July 21). Immune Protection Against Lethal Parasitic Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713201440.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Immune Protection Against Lethal Parasitic Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713201440.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

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