RecombinantWolbachia surface protein (WSP)-Induced T cell responses in Wuchereria bancrofti infections

C. Shiny, N. S A Krushna, K. Haripriya, S. Babu, S. Elango, G. Manokaran, R. B. Narayanan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Human lymphatic filariasis is a debilitating parasitic disease characterized by downregulation of the host's immune response in asymptomatic carriers along with profound hyperreactivity in chronic patients apart from putatively immune endemic normals. The endosymbiont Wolbachia, a bacterium of filarial nematodes has received much attention as possible chemotherapeutic target and its involvement in disease pathogenesis. The role of recombinant Wolbachia surface protein (rWSP), one of the most abundantly expressed proteins of the endosymbiont, in modulating cell-mediated immune responses in patients harboring Wuchereria bancrofti infections was evaluated in the current study. rWSP-induced lymphoproliferation with peripheral blood mononuclear cells suggested an impaired proliferative response in asymptomatic microfilaremic (MF) and symptomatic chronic pathology (CP) patients compared to endemic normals (EN). This was further supported by a significantly diminished expression of CD69 along with elevated levels of CD127 and CD62L in filarial patients (MF and CP) compared to EN. Further, rWSP induced the expression of regulatory T cell markers CTLA-4 and CD25 along with suppressor cytokines IL-10 and TGF-β in MF and CP patients compared to EN. However, the rWSP-stimulated expression of IFN-γ was diminished significantly in filarial patients compared to endemic normals. Thus, these findings suggest that WSP may also contribute to the suppression of immune responses seen in filarial patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-797
Number of pages11
JournalParasitology Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


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