Juvenile rhesus monkeys have lower type 2 cytokine responses than adults after primary infection with Schistosoma mansoni

P G Fallon, J Gibbons, R A Vervenne, E J Richardson, A J C Fulford, S Kiarie, R F Sturrock, P S Coulson, A M Deelder, J A M Langermans, A W Thomas, D W Dunne

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Adults and children have differences in their susceptibility to schistosomiasis. The relative influences of age-dependent innate resistance and acquired immunity in the differences between susceptibility to schistosomiasis are difficult to assess in humans. Therefore, we exposed juvenile and adult female rhesus monkeys to primary infection with Schistosoma mansoni. In contrast to the adult animals, the juvenile rhesus monkeys had low levels of interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5 production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells after schistosome infection, as well as lower levels of parasite-antigen-specific antibody (IgG, IgM, and IgA) responses, and produced limited antigen-specific or total IgE. Juvenile animals had statistically nonsignificant increased worm burdens and tissue or fecal egg counts, compared with that of adults, whereas circulating schistosome antigens were significantly higher in infected juvenile monkeys. These results suggest that juvenile rhesus monkeys have reduced type 2 cytokine responses after primary schistosome infections and perhaps are more susceptible to parasite infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)939-945
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2003


  • IGE
  • MICE
  • AGE

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