Volume 77, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


A popular hypothesis to explain parasite survival in the presence of a pronounced T helper 2 phenotype in helminth-parasitized populations has been FcϵRI blockade by parasite-induced polyclonal IgE. To begin to test the hypothesis that FcϵRI-bearing cells would be refractory to activation in parasitized populations, we investigated basophil function in 43 individuals from a hookworm endemic area. Study individuals had high levels of total IgE and eosinophilia and a mean hookworm burden of 2,257 epg. Basophils from all members of this parasitized population were shown to release histamine to a number of agonists, including anti IgE and a hookworm allergen, calreticulin. These data would indicate that FcϵRI blockade at the level of the basophil did not occur in this parasitized population despite the presence of possible immunologic blocking agents. This would suggest that this effector arm of the T helper 2 phenotype remains operative in infected populations.


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  • Received : 06 Dec 2006
  • Accepted : 03 Jul 2007

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