Plasmodium falciparum and helminth coinfections Increase IgE and parasite-specific IgG responses

Rebeca Santano, Rocío Rubio, Berta Grau-Pujol, Valdemiro Escola, Osvaldo Muchisse, Inocência Cuamba, Marta Vidal, Pau Cisteró, Gemma Ruiz-Olalla, Ruth Aguilar, Maria Demontis, Jose Carlos Jamine, Anélsio Cossa, Charfudin Sacoor, Jorge Cano, Luis Izquierdo, Chetan E. Chitnis, Ross L. Coppel, Virander Chauhan, David CavanaghSheetij Dutta, Evelina Angov, Deepak Gaur, Lisette van Lieshout, Bin Zhan, Jose Muñoz, Gemma Moncunill, Carlota Dobaño

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Coinfection with Plasmodium falciparum and helminths may impact the immune response to these parasites because they induce different immune profiles. We studied the effects of coinfections on the antibody profile in a cohort of 715 Mozambican children and adults using the Luminex technology with a panel of 16 antigens from P. falciparum and 11 antigens from helminths (Ascaris lumbricoides, hookworm, Trichuris trichiura, Strongyloides stercoralis, and Schistosoma spp.) and measured antigen-specific IgG and total IgE responses. We compared the antibody profile between groups defined by P. falciparum and helminth previous exposure (based on serology) and/or current infection (determined by microscopy and/or qPCR). In multivariable regression models adjusted by demographic, socioeconomic, water, and sanitation variables, individuals exposed/infected with P. falciparum and helminths had significantly higher total IgE and antigen-specific IgG levels, magnitude (sum of all levels) and breadth of response to both types of parasites compared to individuals exposed/ infected with only one type of parasite (P # 0.05). There was a positive association between exposure/infection with P. falciparum and exposure/infection with helminths or the number of helminth species, and vice versa (P # 0.001). In addition, children coexposed/coinfected tended (P = 0.062) to have higher P. falciparum parasitemia than those single exposed/infected. Our results suggest that an increase in the antibody responses in coexposed/coinfected individuals may reflect higher exposure and be due to a more permissive immune environment to infection in the host. IMPORTANCE Coinfection with Plasmodium falciparum and helminths may impact the immune response to these parasites because they induce different immune profiles. We compared the antibody profile between groups of Mozambican individuals defined by P. falciparum and helminth previous exposure and/or current infection. Our results show a significant increase in antibody responses in individuals coexposed/ coinfected with P. falciparum and helminths in comparison with individuals exposed/ infected with only one of these parasites, and suggest that this increase is due to a more permissive immune environment to infection in the host. Importantly, this study takes previous exposure into account, which is particularly relevant in endemic areas where continuous infections imprint and shape the immune system. Deciphering the implications of coinfections deserves attention because accounting for the real interactions that occur in nature could improve the design of integrated disease control strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01109
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • antibodies
  • coinfection
  • helminths
  • IgE
  • IgG
  • luminex
  • malaria

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