Volume 60, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The persistence of parasite-specific cellular hyporesponsiveness after clearance of blood microfilariae (mf) was studied in 18 individuals who had been treated with a single dose of ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine, or a combination 2-3 years previously and who had initially cleared their parasitemia. At recruitment into the present study, 50% were again mf+ and 50% remained mf-. There were no significant differences between the mf+ and mf- groups in the amount of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) produced by peripheral blood mononuclear cells in response to adult or microfilarial antigens, although IFN-gamma production in response to purified protein derivative was greater in the mf+ group (geometric mean [gm] = 3,791 pg/ml; P = 0.02) than in the mf- group (gm = 600 pg/ml). These data suggest that although microfilaremic individuals may temporarily regain the ability to produce IFN-gamma to parasite antigens post-treatment, they subsequently revert to a state of hyporesponsiveness to mf-containing antigens that appears to be independent of the recurrence of microfilaremia and the response to nonparasite antigens.


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