Distinctive cytokine, chemokine, and antibody responses in Echinococcus multilocularis-infected patients with cured, stable, or progressive disease

Xiangsheng Huang, Beate Grüner, Christian J. Lechner, Peter Kern, Peter T. Soboslay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Metacestode larvae of the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis can cause alveolar echinococcosis (AE), a severe parasitic disease in man, which, if it remains untreated, may cause organ failure and death. Spontaneous and parasite antigen-induced cellular responses were studied in patients with cured, stable, and progressive AE to differentiate the response profiles between the distinct states of infection. Antibody reactivity was evaluated in AE patients with cured, stable, and progressive disease. The spontaneous cellular release of pro-inflammatory IL-31 and IL-33 was clearly depressed in all AE patients, while regulatory IL-27, anti-inflammatory SDF-1/CXCL12, and eosinophil granulocyte attracting Eotaxin-1, Eotaxin-2, and Eotaxin-3 (CCL11, CCL24, CCL26) were enhanced with disease progression. Such distinctive response profiles could be applied for monitoring of AE disease progression or regression. E. multilocularis metacestode (Em) antigens (entire metacestode EmAg as well as EmVesicles) stimulated in vitro IL-31, IL-33, Eotaxin-1, Eotaxin-3, and CXCL12 cytokine and chemokine responses, which were similarly present in all AE patient groups, while regulatory IL-27 was suppressed and pro-inflammatory Eotaxin-2 was enhanced. E. multilocularis metacestode-specific IgG1, IgG3, and IgE responses progressively diminished with regression from active to stable and cured AE. IgG2 and IgG4 reactivity remained similarly high in stable and progressive cases, and lessened only with cured AE. Antibody reactivity against E. multilocularis vesicle antigen distinctively separated between cured, stable, or progressive AE, with the exception of IgG4. In sum, the combined and longitudinal study of several cytokines and chemokines, together with the evaluation of E. multilocularis vesicle-specific antibody responses, should provide a better understanding of the immune response during progression and regression of AE, and may help to improve the staging of AE patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-193
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Microbiology and Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Antibody
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Echinococcus multilocularis
  • Staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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