Antibody responses are thought to play an important role in control of Schistosoma infections, yet little is known about the phenotype and function of B cells in human schistosomiasis. We set out to characterize B cell subsets and B cell responses to B cell receptor and Toll-like receptor 9 stimulation in Gabonese schoolchildren with Schistosoma haematobium infection. Frequencies of memory B cell (MBC) subsets were increased, whereas naive B cell frequencies were reduced in the schistosome-infected group. At the functional level, isolated B cells from schistosome-infected children showed higher expression of the activation marker CD23 upon stimulation, but lower proliferation and TNF-α production. Importantly, 6-months after 3 rounds of praziquantel treatment, frequencies of naive B cells were increased, MBC frequencies were decreased and with the exception of TNF-α production, B cell responsiveness was restored to what was seen in uninfected children. These data show that S. haematobium infection leads to significant changes in the B cell compartment, both at the phenotypic and functional level.,
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Department of Immunology

Labuda, D, Ateba-Ngoa, U, Feugap, E.N, Heeringa, J.J, van der Vlugt, L.E.P.M, Pires, N.M.M, … Smits, H.H. (2013). Alterations in Peripheral Blood B Cell Subsets and Dynamics of B Cell Responses during Human Schistosomiasis. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 7(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002094