Author(s): Chavarra A, Roger B, Fragoso G, Tapia G, Fleury A
Neurocysticercosis (NC), a parasitic disease caused by Taenia solium, may be either asymptomatic or have mild to severe symptoms due to several factors. In this study, the immunological factors that underlie NC pleomorphism were studied. Ten of the 132 inhabitants of a rural community in Mexico (Tepez) had a computerized tomography (CT) scan compatible with calcified NC, and all were asymptomatic. Their immunological profiles were compared with those of 122 CT scan negative (non-NC) subjects from the same village. NC was associated with a TH2 response (IgG4, IL-4, IL-5, IL-13). Subjects from Tepez had higher levels of specific antibodies (IgG1, IgG2, IgG4, IgE) and specific cell proliferation than subjects from an area with low exposure (Ensenada). This suggests that non-NC subjects from Tepez had been exposed to T. solium and resisted infection in the brain. Distinct immunological profiles in equally exposed individuals differing in outcome of infection support the hypothesis of host-related factors in resistance to and pathogenesis of NC. This is the first study reporting the immunological profile associated with the asymptomatic form of NC.