Helminth parasites induce a strong Th2 response, characterized by high levels of IgE and elevated signature cytokines such as IL-5. As many global deworming programmes are underway, there is concern that this might lead to emergence of Th1-mediated pathologies when the counterbalancing helminth-induced Th2 response is absent. Therefore, we assessed the effect of deworming on Th2-mediated responses in a household-clustered randomized controlled trial in Indonesia. Total plasma IgE and whole-blood IL-5 responses to mitogen phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) were measured in 1494 and 682 subjects, respectively, at baseline, 9 and 21 months after three-monthly single-dose treatment with albendazole or placebo. Anthelmintic treatment did not result in complete removal of helminth infections in the community. However, treatment significantly decreased IgE levels in albendazole- compared to placebo-treated subjects. IL-5 responses to PHA were not significantly affected by anthelmintic treatment and tended to increase in albendazole-treated subjects, indicating that intensive treatment of helminth parasites has different outcomes on B-cell (IgE levels) and T-cell (IL-5) responses. The data shows that 2 years of deworming can have differential effects on responses typified as Th2-mediated, which needs to be taken into account when examining the impact of helminths on noncommunicable diseases.

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Keywords albendazole, helminths, IgE, IL-5, Indonesia, Th2
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/pim.12428, hdl.handle.net/1765/99796
Journal Parasite Immunology
de Ruiter, K, Tahapary, D.L, Wammes, L.J, Wiria, A.E, Hamid, F, van Lieshout, L.M.C, … Yazdanbakhsh, M. (2017). The effect of three-monthly albendazole treatment on Th2 responses. Parasite Immunology, 39(6). doi:10.1111/pim.12428