Author(s): Chavarria A, Fleury A, Bobes RJ, Morales J, Fragoso G
Human neurocysticercosis can cause mild or severe neurological symptoms or be completely asymptomatic. This heterogeneity may depend on host factors such as gender, age and immune-inflammatory response. The present study describes the specific peripheral immune response related to the different forms of neurocysticercosis in the adult population of both sexes. Asymptomatic cases (n = 26) mainly presented single calcified cysticerci in brain parenchyma or in the subarachnoid space of the sulci with a predominantly TH2 response (IL-4, IL-5, IL-13), high levels of IL-12 in supernatants of specifically stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and low plasma levels of all specific IgG subclasses. Symptomatic patients (n = 26) constituted a heterogeneous group, and had single or multiple cysticerci in vesicular, colloidal, calcified or mixed stages. This group showed parasites located in the subarachnoid space of the base and/or in the sulci, in the ventricular cavities, in parenchyma or in mixed locations. Symptomatic patients showed a depressed specific cellular immune response and increased levels of all specific IgG subclasses. This evidence supports the existence of two clear different immune profiles according to neurocysticercosis that is asymptomatic or symptomatic.