Skin test reactivity and Der p-induced interleukin 10 production in patients with asthma or rhinitis infected withAscaris

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Abstract

Background:

Helminth infections have been associated with reduced reactivity to aeroallergens, which could be related to interleukin 10 (IL-10) production, as reported in schistosomiasis.

Objective:

To compare skin responses to aeroallergens with Der p specific IL-10 production in patients with asthma or rhinitis according to Ascaris infection status.

Methods:

Cross-sectional study of 113 patients with asthma or rhinitis from a region endemic for geohelminths. Stool examinations and skin prick tests to aeroallergens were performed in all the patients. Der p specific IL-10 production was measured in the supernatant of peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cultures of a subsample of 53 patients.

Results:

Forty-seven patients had Ascaris in their stool samples. Skin test results were positive in 77% of Ascaris-infected patients and in 71% of uninfected individuals. Median levels of Der p specific IL-10 in PBMC cultures of infected and uninfected patients were similar (7.8 and 8.4 pg/mL, respectively). The lack of association remained when parasite load was taken into account and when patients with evidence of previous infection were removed from the uninfected group.

Conclusions:

In patients with asthma or rhinitis living in an urban area endemic for geohelminths, we found no association between Ascaris infection and skin reactivity to aeroallergens. Furthermore, there was no difference in Der p specific IL-10 production by PBMCs. These negative findings indicate that different from what is observed in Schistosoma infection, Ascaris lumbricoides infection in individuals living in an urban area does not induce strong regulatory responses.

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