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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 1769585, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/1769585
Research Article

Immune Profile of Honduran Schoolchildren with Intestinal Parasites: The Skewed Response against Geohelminths

1Department of Health Sciences, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada
2School of Microbiology, National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), Tegucigalpa, Honduras
3Microbiology Research Institute, National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Received 16 August 2016; Accepted 10 October 2016

Academic Editor: Emmanuel Serrano Ferron

Copyright © 2016 José Antonio Gabrie et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Soil-transmitted helminth infections typically induce a type-2 immune response (Th2), but no immunoepidemiological studies have been undertaken in Honduras, an endemic country where the main control strategy is children’s annual deworming. We aimed to characterize the immune profile of Honduran schoolchildren harbouring these parasitoses. Demographic and epidemiological data were obtained through a survey; nutritional status was assessed through anthropometry; intestinal parasites were diagnosed by formol-ether and Kato-Katz; and blood samples were collected to determine immunological markers including Th1/Th2 cytokines, IgE, and eosinophil levels. A total of 225 children participated in the study, all of whom had received deworming during the national campaign five months prior to the study. Trichuriasis and ascariasis prevalence were 22.2% and 20.4%, respectively. Stunting was associated with both age and trichuriasis, whereas ascariasis was associated with sex and household conditions. Helminth infections were strongly associated with eosinophilia and hyper-IgE as well as with a Th2-polarized response (increased levels of IL-13, IL-10, and IL4/IFN- ratios and decreased levels of IFN-). Pathogenic protozoa infections were associated with a Th1 response characterized by elevated levels of IFN- and decreased IL10/IFN- ratios. Even at low prevalence levels, STH infections affect children’s nutrition and play a polarizing role in their immune system.