Dissociation of interleukin-4 and interleukin-5 production following treatment for Schistosoma haematobium infection in humans


Janet T.scott Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat, 155, Antwerpen 2000, Belgium


Infection with Schistosoma haematobium, the causative agent of urinary schistosomiasis is characterized by high levels of specific immunoglobulin (Ig) E and eosinophilia. The primary cytokines driving production of IgE and eosinophilia are IL-4 and IL-5, respectively. In this study, IL-4 and IL-5 production in children from a schistosome endemic area of Zimbabwe were investigated. Blood samples were taken, stimulated in vitro with either mitogen or schistosome antigens and assayed for IL-4 and IL-5 production. These samples produced either IL-4 or IL-5 but rarely both cytokines when blood was cultured in vitro for 24 or 48 h. After 72 h culture in vitro, both cytokines were detected in most samples. These data imply that while IL-4 and IL-5 are both produced by schistosome infected people, they are not necessarily coproduced.