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    Hookworm infection is the most common human helminthic infection in the rural areas of southern Thailand. There is little information on the induced cellular immune responses in hookworm-infected children. The present study aimed to investigate the cellular immune responses, regulatory T cells (Tregs), Th1-type cytokines (interleukin (IL)-2 and interferon (IFN)-γ), a Th2-type cytokine (IL-5) and IL-10, which is one of the cytokines secreted by Tregs in hookworm-infected children. Twenty-nine schoolchildren diagnosed with hookworm infections and 28 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and Tregs in whole blood were analyzed using flow cytometry. Plasma IL-2, IL-5, IL-10 and IFN-γ concentrations were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The median CD4+ T cell frequency was significantly higher in hookworm-infected children than healthy controls. Compared to healthy controls, hookworm-infected children had a significantly increased absolute number of Tregs. No differences in circulating CD8+ T cell median frequency or absolute numbers were observed among hookworm-infected children or healthy controls. Elevated IL-2 and IL-10 concentrations were found in hookworm-infected children. Moreover, the absolute number of Tregs was significantly positively correlated with the plasma IL-10 concentration (rs = 0.406, P = 0.029). This study showed that hookworm-infected schoolchildren had significantly different immune responses than healthy controls, including an increase in the CD4+ T cell number, a significant induction of Tregs and significantly elevated circulating IL-10 levels. These alterations could be the mechanism underlying the immunomodulation that alleviates allergic diseases among hookworm-infected individuals. © 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


    Nonthapan Phasuk, Nopporn Apiwattanakul, Chuchard Punsawad. Profiles of CD4+, CD8+, and regulatory T cells and circulating cytokines in hookworm-infected children in southern Thailand. Medical microbiology and immunology. 2022 Feb;211(1):19-28

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    PMID: 34854999

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