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Association between TNF-α and Entamoeba histolytica Diarrhea

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  • 1 Division of Infectious Disease and International Health, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia; International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland

An association between tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and Entamoeba histolytica diarrhea was assessed in a cohort of 138 non-related Bangladeshi children who have been prospectively followed since 2001. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained at study entry were purified, cultured, and stimulated with soluble amebic antigen before cytokine measurement from supernatant. Higher levels of TNF-α were associated with increased risk of first (P = 0.01) and recurrent E. histolytica-related diarrheal episodes (P = 0.005). Children who developed E. histolytica diarrhea had significantly higher TNF-α protein levels than those who experienced asymptomatic E. histolytica infection (P value = 0.027) or no infection (P value = 0.017). Microarray studies performed using RNA isolated from acute and convalescent whole blood and colon biopsy samples revealed higher but non-significant TNF-α messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in subjects with acute E. histolytica diarrhea compared with convalescence. We conclude that there is an association between higher TNF-α production and E. histolytica diarrhea.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Kristine M. Peterson, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Virginia Health Systems, PO BOX 801337, Building MR4, Room 2115, 409 Lane Road, Charlottesville, VA. E-mail: kmp5v@virginia.edu

Financial support: This work is supported by NIH grant K08A1072470 to Kristine M. Peterson, grant AI043596 to William A. Petri, and in part by the intramural division of the National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH.

Authors' addresses: Kristine M. Peterson and William A. Petri Jr, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Virginia Health Systems, Charlottesville, VA, E-mail: kmp5v@virginia.edu. Jianfen Shu, Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Services, University of Virginia, Charlotteville, VA. Priya Duggal, Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD. Rashidul Haque and Dinesh Mondal, International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Dhaka Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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