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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Comparison of cytokine plasma levels in human African trypanosomiasis.

Summary Background Immunological studies suggest that human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is associated with inflammatory responses. A better understanding of the complex cytokine interactions regulating HAT infections is essential to elucidate the mechanisms of generalized immunosuppression. Method We determined levels of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and interferon (IFN)-gamma protein levels in plasma samples from three groups of individuals from the Democratic Republic of Congo: (i) HAT cases; (ii) seropositive individuals for whom parasite detection was negative and (ii) controls. Results Plasma levels of six cytokines were significantly higher in HAT cases than in both controls (P < 0.003) and seropositive individuals (P < 0.016). IL-2 and IL-10 concentrations were significantly lower (P < 0.02) in the seropositive group than in the control one. Conclusion Human African trypanosomiasis leads to the development of strong cytokine responses, indicating the potential involvement of IL-2 and IL-10 in the phenomenon of seropositivity without parasitological confirmation. This strongly suggests the involvement of immunity in this particular aspect of HAT epidemiology.[1]


  1. Comparison of cytokine plasma levels in human African trypanosomiasis. Courtin, D., Jamonneau, V., Mathieu, J.F., Koffi, M., Milet, J., Yeminanga, C.S., Kumeso, V.K., Cuny, G., Bilengue, C.M., Garcia, A. Trop. Med. Int. Health (2006) [Pubmed]
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