Immunogenetic Susceptibility for Post-Schistosomal Hepatic Fibrosis

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  • Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

In 19 children with hepatic fibrosis as the result of continued schistosomiasis mansoni and 20 children without hepatic fibrosis, the following studies were carried out: HLA antigen typing for 30 antigens, immune response of T lymphocytes to schistosome antigen by measuring DNA synthesis evidenced by 3H-thymidine uptake, and measurement of total OKT3+, OKT4+, and OKT8+ cells using monoclonal antibodies. Patients with hepatic fibrosis were mostly high responders in contrast with those without fibrosis. High immune response and susceptibility to post-schistosomal hepatic fibrosis were associated with a high frequency of A2 and B12 antigens and a lack of DR2 antigens, while low response was associated with the presence of the DR2 antigen. The T4+:T8+ ratio showed increased suppressor proportions in patients with low immune response and/or with no hepatic fibrosis. We suggest an immunogenetic susceptibility for post-schistosomal hepatic fibrosis, probably controlled by HLA-linked genes via the suppressor T cells.