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George P.J.,National Institutes of Healthnternational Center for Excellence in Research | Anuradha R.,National Institutes of Healthnternational Center for Excellence in Research | Kumar N.P.,National Institutes of Healthnternational Center for Excellence in Research | Banurekha V.V.,National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis | And 3 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2014

Tissue invasive helminth infections and tuberculosis (TB) are co-endemic in many parts of the world and can trigger immune responses that might antagonize each other. We have previously shown that helminth infections modulate the Th1 and Th17 responses to mycobacterial-antigens in latent TB. To determine whether helminth infections modulate antigen-specific and non-specific immune responses in active pulmonary TB, we examined CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses as well as the systemic (plasma) cytokine levels in individuals with pulmonary TB with or without two distinct helminth infections—Wuchereria bancrofti and Strongyloides stercoralis infection. By analyzing the frequencies of Th1 and Th17 CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and their component subsets (including multifunctional cells), we report a significant diminution in the mycobacterial–specific frequencies of mono- and multi–functional CD4+ Th1 and (to a lesser extent) Th17 cells when concomitant filarial or Strongyloides infection occurs. The impairment in CD4+ and CD8+ T cell cytokine responses was antigen-specific as polyclonal activated T cell frequencies were equivalent irrespective of helminth infection status. This diminution in T cell responses was also reflected in diminished circulating levels of Th1 (IFN-γ, TNF-α and IL-2)- and Th17 (IL-17A and IL-17F)-associated cytokines. Finally, we demonstrate that for the filarial co-infections at least, this diminished frequency of multifunctional CD4+ T cell responses was partially dependent on IL-10 as IL-10 blockade significantly increased the frequencies of CD4+ Th1 cells. Thus, co-existent helminth infection is associated with an IL-10 mediated (for filarial infection) profound inhibition of antigen-specific CD4+ T cell responses as well as protective systemic cytokine responses in active pulmonary TB. © 2014 Public Library of Science. All rights reserved.


Anuradha R.,National Institutes of Healthnternational Center for Excellence in Research | Munisankar S.,National Institutes of Healthnternational Center for Excellence in Research | Bhootra Y.,National Institutes of Healthnternational Center for Excellence in Research | Jagannathan J.,National Institutes of Healthnternational Center for Excellence in Research | And 5 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2016

Background: Th9 cells are a subset of CD4+T cells that express the protoypical cytokine, IL-9. Th9 cells are known to effect protective immunity in animal models of intestinal helminth infections. However, the role of Th9 cells in human intestinal helminth infections has never been examined. Methodology: To examine the role of Th9 cells in Strongyloidis stercoralis (Ss), a common intestinal helminth infection, we compared the frequency of Th9 expressing IL-9 either singly (mono-functional) or co-expressing IL-4 or IL-10 (dual-functional) in Ss-infected individuals (INF) to frequencies in uninfected (UN) individuals. Principal Findings: INF individuals exhibited a significant increase in the spontaneously expressed and/or antigen specific frequencies of both mono- and dual-functional Th9 cells as well as Th2 cells expressing IL-9 compared to UN. The differences in Th9 induction between INF and UN individuals was predominantly antigen-specific as the differences were no longer seen following control antigen or mitogen stimulation. In addition, the increased frequency of Th9 cells in response to parasite antigens was dependent on IL-10 and TGFx since neutralization of either of these cytokines resulted in diminished Th9 frequencies. Finally, following successful treatment of Ss infection, the frequencies of antigen-specific Th9 cells diminished in INF individuals, suggesting a role for the Th9 response in active Ss infection. Moreover, IL-9 levels in whole blood culture supernatants following Ss antigen stimulation were higher in INF compared to UN individuals. Conclusion: Thus, Ss infection is characterized by an IL-10- and TGFβ dependent expansion of Th9 cells, an expansion found to reversible by anti-helmintic treatment.


George P.J.,National Institutes of Healthnternational Center for Excellence in Research | Kumar N.P.,National Institutes of Healthnternational Center for Excellence in Research | Sridhar R.,Government Stanley Medical Hospital | Hanna L.E.,National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis | And 5 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2014

Helminth infections are known to modulate innate and adaptive immune responses in active and latent tuberculosis (TB). However, the role of helminth infections in modulating responses associated with inflammation and immune activation (reflecting disease activity and/or severity) in TB is not known.We measured markers of inflammation and immune activation in active pulmonary TB individuals (ATB) with co-incidental Strongyloides stercoralis (Ss) infection. These included systemic levels of acute phase proteins, matrix metalloproteinases and their endogenous inhibitors and immune activation markers. As a control, we measured the systemic levels of the same molecules in TB-uninfected individuals (NTB) with or without Ss infection.Our data confirm that ATB is associated with elevated levels of the various measured molecules when compared to those seen in NTB. Our data also reveal that co-incident Ss infection in ATB individuals is associated with significantly decreased circulating levels of acute phase proteins, matrix metalloproteinases, tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases as well as the systemic immune activation markers, sCD14 and sCD163. These changes are specific to ATB since they are absent in NTB individuals with Ss infection.Our data therefore reveal a profound effect of Ss infection on the markers associated with TB disease activity and severity and indicate that co-incidental helminth infections might dampen the severity of TB disease. © 2014.

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