Regulatory T cell expansion resolves after effective strongyloidiasis treatment in subjects with HTLV-1 co-infection

Daniel Hoces, Nicolas Barros, Fernando Woll, Allison Bauer, A. Clinton White, Martin Montes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Regulatory T-cells (Tregs) are increased in patients with HTLV-1/Strongyloides stercoralis co-infection, and they may modify otherwise protective antigen-specific cytokine production. We hypothesized that effective anti-helminthic treatment would decrease Tregs and restore antigen-specific cytokine responses. Methods/results: We enrolled 19 patients with Strongyloides larvae in their stool by Baerman's test. Six were positive and 13 negative for antibody to HTLV-1 by ELISA, with positive tests confirmed by immunoblot. Before treatment, co-infected subjects had higher Tregs percentages and lower antigen-stimulated IL-5 levels compared to subjects with Strongyloides without HTLV-1. All patients were treated with ivermectin. After effective treatment, Tregs percentages decreased in patients with HTLV-1; however, antigen-specific IL-5 production remained blunted in co-infected subjects. Conclusion: These results suggest that treating strongyloidiasis infection decreases circulating Tregs, but antigen-specific cytokine remains altered. This may reflect blunting of sensitization by Tregs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102092
JournalParasitology International
StatePublished - Jun 2020



  • HTLV-1
  • Regulatory T cells
  • Strongyloides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

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