High levels of IgG4 to Schistosoma mansoni egg antigens in individuals with periportal fibrosis.

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  • 1 Departamento de Bioquímica e Imunologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Specific IgG4 and IgE responses to adult worm antigen and soluble egg antigen (SEA) were examined in 267 individuals from an area in which schistosomiasis mansoni is endemic. Based on information obtained from clinical and sonographic examinations of this sample, the individuals were divided in three groups: 1) 204 individuals without periportal fibrosis, and liver and spleen enlargements; 2) 41 individuals without periportal fibrosis, but presenting with organopathy, with or without organomegaly; and 3) 22 individuals with periportal fibrosis, regardless of their status as having hepatomegaly and/or splenomegaly. Levels of IgG4 to SEA were significantly higher in sera from patients with fibrosis compared with the patients from the other two groups. We also found significantly higher levels of IgG4 against SEA in egg-negative patients with fibrosis compared with egg-negative patients from the other two groups. This report demonstrates a specific humoral response in patients presenting with initial fibrosis, a form of schistosomiasis transient between intestinal and severe hepatosplenic.

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