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Mèba Banla - Top 30 Publications

Onchocerca volvulus infection and serological prevalence, ocular onchocerciasis and parasite transmission in northern and central Togo after decades of Simulium damnosum s.l. vector control and mass drug administration of ivermectin.

Mass drug administration (MDA) of ivermectin has become the main intervention to control onchocerciasis or "river blindness". In Togo, after many years of MDA, Onchocerca volvulus infection has declined dramatically, and elimination appears achievable, but in certain river basins the current situation remains unknown. We have conducted parasitological, serological, ophthalmological, and entomological assessments in northern and central Togo within the river basins of Ôti, Kéran and Mô.

Risk factors for retinal detachment in Togo.

Retinal detachment poses management problems in developing countries due to the shortage of technical equipment. Prevention passes through knowledge and elimination of risk factors. This study aimed to identify the risk factors for retinal detachment in people living in Togo.

Management and functional results of traumatic cataract in the central region of Togo.

Traumatic cataract is a serious condition because it can cause partial or total vision loss. Our study aims to assess the postoperative functional outcomes of patients undergoing surgery for traumatic cataract in the Central region of Togo.

Neonatal conjunctivitis in the district of Glidji in Southern Togo: a cross sectional study about 159 new-borns.

Describe the epidemiology of neonatal conjunctivitis in the Canton of Glidji in southern Togo.

Analysis of age-dependent trends in Ov16 IgG4 seroprevalence to onchocerciasis.

Diagnostics provide a means to measure progress toward disease elimination. Many countries in Africa are approaching elimination of onchocerciasis after successful implementation of mass drug administration programs as well as vector control. An understanding of how markers for infection such as skin snip microfilaria and Onchocerca volvulus-specific seroconversion perform in near-elimination settings informs how to best use these markers.

Cellular gene expression induced by parasite antigens and allergens in neonates from parasite-infected mothers.

Prenatal exposure to parasite antigens or allergens will influence the profile and strength of postnatal immune responses, such contact may tolerize and increase susceptibility to future infections or sensitize to environmental allergens. Exposure in utero to parasite antigens will distinctly alter cellular gene expression in newborns. Gene microarrays were applied to study gene expression in umbilical cord blood cell (UCBC) from parasite-exposed (Para-POS) and non-exposed (Para-NEG) neonates. UCBC were activated with antigens of helminth (Onchocerca volvulus), amoeba (Entamoeba histolytica) or allergens of mite (Dermatophagoides farinae). When UCBC from Para-POS and Para-NEG newborns were exposed to helminth antigens or allergens consistent differences occurred in the expression of genes encoding for MHC class I and II alleles, signal transducers of activation and transcription (STATs), cytokines, chemokines, immunoglobulin heavy and light chains, and molecules associated with immune regulation (SOCS, TLR, TGF), inflammation (TNF, CCR) and apoptosis (CASP). Expression of genes associated with innate immune responses were enhanced in Para-NEG, while in Para-POS, the expression of MHC class II and STAT genes was reduced. Within functional gene networks for cellular growth, proliferation and immune responses, Para-NEG neonates presented with significantly higher expression values than Para-POS. In Para-NEG newborns, the gene cluster and pathway analyses suggested that gene expression profiles may predispose for the development of immunological, hematological and dermatological disorders upon postnatal helminth parasite infection or allergen exposure. Thus, prenatal parasite contact will sensitize without generating aberrant inflammatory immune responses, and increased pro-inflammatory but decreased regulatory gene expression profiles will be present in those neonates lacking prenatal parasite antigen encounter.

A Recombinant Positive Control for Serology Diagnostic Tests Supporting Elimination of Onchocerca volvulus.

Serological assays for human IgG4 to the Onchocerca volvulus antigen Ov16 have been used to confirm elimination of onchocerciasis in much of the Americas and parts of Africa. A standardized source of positive control antibody (human anti-Ov16 IgG4) will ensure the quality of surveillance data using these tests.

Sustainable control of onchocerciasis: ocular pathology in onchocerciasis patients treated annually with ivermectin for 23 years: a cohort study.

The evolution and persistence of ocular pathology was assessed in a cohort of Onchocerca volvulus infected patients treated annually with ivermectin for 23 years. Patients were resident in rural Central and Kara Region of Togo and ocular examinations included testing of visual acuity, slit lamp examination of the anterior eye segment and the eye fundus by ophthalmoscopy. Before ivermectin treatment, vivid O.volvulus microfilariae (MF) were observed in the right and left anterior eye chamber in 52% and 42% of patients (n = 82), and dead MF were seen in the right and left cornea in 24% and 15% of cases, respectively. At 23 years post initial treatment (PIT), none of the patients (n = 82) presented with MF in the anterior chamber and cornea. A complete resolution of punctate keratitis (PK) lesions without observable corneal scars was present at 23 years PIT (p<0.0001), and sclerosing keratitits (SK) lessened by half, but mainly in patients with lesions at early stage of evolution. Early-stage iridocyclitis diminished from 42%(rE) and 40%(lE) to 13% (rE+lE)(p<0.0001), but advanced iridocyclitis augmented (p<0.001) at 23 years PIT compared to before ivermectin. Advanced-stage papillitis and chorioretinitis did not regress, while early-stage papillitis present in 28%(rE) and 27%(lE) of patients at before ivermectin regressed to 17%(rE) and 18%(lE), and early-stage chorioretinitis present in 51%(rE+lE) of cases at before ivermectin was observed in 12%(rE) and 13%(lE) at 23 years PIT (p<0.0001). Thus, regular annual ivermectin treatment eliminated and prevented the migration of O. volvulus microfilariae into the anterior eye chamber and cornea; keratitis punctata lesions resolved completely and early-stage sclerosing keratitits and iridocyclitis regressed, whilst advanced lesions of the anterior and posterior eye segment remained progressive. In conclusion, annual ivermectin treatments may prevent the emergence of ocular pathology in those populations still exposed to O.volvulus infection.

Cytokine and chemokine responses to helminth and protozoan parasites and to fungus and mite allergens in neonates, children, adults, and the elderly.

In rural sub-Saharan Africa, endemic populations are often infected concurrently with several intestinal and intravascular helminth and protozoan parasites. A specific, balanced and, to an extent, protective immunity will develop over time in response to repeated parasite encounters, with immune responses initially being poorly adapted and non-protective. The cellular production of pro-inflammatory and regulatory cytokines and chemokines in response to helminth, protozoan antigens and ubiquitous allergens were studied in neonates, children, adults and the elderly.

Chemokines and cytokines in patients with an occult Onchocerca volvulus infection.

Repeated ivermectin treatment will clear microfilaria (Mf) of Onchocerca volvulus from skin and eyes of onchocerciasis patients while adult filaria remains alive and reproductive, and such occult O. volvulus infection may persist for years. To investigate the effect of residual adult filaria on the immune response profile, chemokines and cytokines were quantified 1) in onchocerciasis patients who developed an occult O. volvulus infection (Mf-negative) due to repeated ivermectin treatments, 2) patients who became Mf-negative without ivermectin treatments due to missing re-infection, and 3) endemic and non-endemic O. volvulus Mf-negative controls. With occult O. volvulus infection, serum levels of pro-inflammatory chemokines MCP-1/CCL2, MIP-1α/CCL3, MIP-1β/CCL4, MPIF-1/CCL23 and CXCL8/IL-8 enhanced and approached higher concentrations as determined in infection-free controls, whilst regulatory and Th2-type cytokines and chemokines MCP-4/CCL13, MIP-1δ/CCL15, TARC/CCL17 and IL-13 lessened. Levels of Eotaxin-2/CCL24, MCP-3/CCL7 and BCA-1/CXCL13 remained unchanged. At 3 days post-initial ivermectin treatment, MCP-1/CCL2, MCP-4/CCL13, MPIF-1/CCL23 and Eotaxin-2/CCL24 were strongly enhanced, suggesting that monocytes and eosinophil granulocytes have mediated Mf clearance. In summary, with occult and expiring O. volvulus infections the serum levels of inflammatory chemokines enhanced over time while regulatory and Th2-type-promoting cytokines and chemokines lessened; these changes may reflect a decreasing effector cell activation against Mf of O. volvulus, and in parallel, an enhancing inflammatory immune responsiveness.

Cytokine and chemokine responses in adults, newborns and children exposed to Entamoeba histolytica/dispar, Onchocerca volvulus and Plasmodium falciparum.

Cytokine and chemokine response profiles were studied in newborns, 10-yr-old children and post partum mothers. All study groups were repeatedly exposed to Entamoeba histolytica, Onchocerca volvulus and Plasmodium falciparum infections as indicated by their Immunoglobulin (IgG) responses to parasite-specific antigens. As key indicators for regulatory and pro-inflammatory cytokine and chemokine responses, Interferon (IFN)gamma and regulatory IL-10 were investigated, along with the chemokines MIP-1 alpha/CCL3, MIP-1 beta/CCL4, MDC/CCL22 and TARC/CCL17. Entamoeba histolytica antigens (EhAg) strongly activated pro-inflammatory MIP-1 alpha/CCL3 and MIP-1 beta/CCL4 responses of similar magnitude in mothers, children and neonates alike. Plasmodium falciparum antigens (PfAg) enhanced MIP-1 alpha/CCL3, MIP-1 beta/CCL4 and MDC/CCL22 production in neonates, but did not trigger these chemokines in mothers or 10-yr-old children. Onchocerca volvulus antigens (OvAg) activated IFN-gamma and TARC/CCL17 production in mothers but not in neonates and children. Crude IL-10 production [i.e., without subtracting spontaneous cellular release (baseline)] was highest in mothers and somewhat lower in neonates, while the lowest IL-10 amounts of all were released by peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 10-yr-old children. In summary, strong inflammatory chemokine responses to plasmodia and ameba antigens in newborns and 10-yr-old children suggest that adequately balanced immune regulatory mechanisms may not have developed yet in these age groups and that repeated exposure to parasite infections and immune maturation during childhood is required to generate similar cytokine and chemokine profiles as in adults.

Applied field research for comprehensive helminth infection control.

The Institute for Tropical Medicine at University of Tübingen has established 30 years ago in Togo a Research Centre and Onchocerciasis Reference Laboratory (ORL). Onchocerca volvulus infection control and of other neglected tropical diseases has been the focus of activities, and those were performed together with the National Institute of Hygiene in Togo, the Medical Faculty at University of Lomé, national disease control programs and district and regional hospitals. The ORL contributed significantly to the assessment of ivermectin as the prime choice for onchocerciasis treatment, and 24 years of repeated annual treatment with ivermectin has progressively reduced disease prevalence and notably the level of ocular and dermal manifestations of onchocerciasis in the endemic population. The ORL has shown that large parts of the rural population in Togo is concurrently infected with intestinal and intravascular protozoan and helminth parasites, notably school children. The application of repeated treatments with albendazole and praziquantel against Schistosoma spp. and instestinal helminthes for several years has reduced infection intensities by more than 80%. Longitudinal investigations of the cellular immune responses in adults and children have found that parasite co-infections will generate prominent pro-inflammatory responses, and a single or few interventions will not suffice to eliminate co-infections and not establish an appropriately balanced immunity.

Coinfections with Schistosoma haematobium, Necator americanus, and Entamoeba histolytica/Entamoeba dispar in children: chemokine and cytokine responses and changes after antiparasite treatment.

The effect of polyparasite infections on cytokine and chemokine responses as well as the effect of antiparasite treatment was studied in children without parasite infection (the G0 group), in children singly infected with Schistosoma haematobium (the G1 group), and in children multiply infected with S. haematobium/Schistosoma mansoni, Entamoeba histolytica/Entamoeba dispar, and Necator americanus (the G3+ group). Linear regression analysis disclosed a significant risk for coinfection with hookworm and Schistosoma species. Polyparasite infections detected in 23% of children before treatment were present in 5% at 15 months after treatment. Chemokine responses to S. mansoni adult worm antigen (SmAg) diminished after treatment for macrophage inflammatory chemokine (MIP)-1alpha/chemokine (C-C motif) ligand (CCL)-3 (among G3+ children, by a factor of 200 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 33-1111]) and for MIP-1beta/CCL-4 (among G3+ children, by a factor of 26 [95% CI, 6-117]) but were enhanced for thymus- and activation-regulated chemokine/CCL-17 (among G3+ children, by a factor of 10 [95% CI, 3-32]) (P < .001 for all). In response to E. histolytica antigen, interleukin (IL)-13 levels increased after treatment among G1 children by a factor of 138 (95% CI, 12-1569) and among G3+ children by a factor of 21 (95% CI, 7-64) (P < .001 for both). Cellular production of interferon (IFN)-gamma in response to SmAg decreased 4 weeks after treatment among G3+ children, whereas T helper cell type 2 (Th2) IL-13 production was enhanced among G1 and G3+ children. In summary, polyparasite infections with S. haematobium/S. mansoni, E. histolytica/E. dispar, and N. americanus generated prominent proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine responses, and, after antihelminth treatment, the inflammatory chemokine response lessened as the Th2 responsiveness in coinfected children increased.

Antibody and cytokine responses in Dracunculus medinensis patients at distinct states of infection.

Dracunculiasis is a promising candidate for eradication, but transmission of Dracunculus medinensis and recrudescence of the disease have been observed repeatedly. In the present investigation, the D. medinensis-specific cellular cytokine response profiles and the parasite-specific antibody subclass reactivity were evaluated in dracunculiasis patients at distinct states of infection. Analysis of the cellular cytokine response in dracunculiasis patients disclosed a D. medinensis antigen-specific depression of IFN-gamma production with patent D. medinensis infection, while the T helper type 2 cytokine IL-10 was similar in patent, post-patent and control individuals, and IL-5 production was always the highest in controls. In parallel, diminished IFN-gamma and IL-12 responses to antigens from Ascaris lumbricoides, Entamoeba histolytica and mycobacteria were observed in patent and post-patent dracunculiasis cases. The parasite-specific IgG(1) and IgG(4) subclass reactivity profiles corresponded with the D. medinensis infection state, and a clear distinction between patent and post-patent patients and controls was found. Overall a depressed cytokine release was observed with patent D. medinensis, which extended beyond the parasite-specific immune responsiveness. The detection of D. medinensis-specific IgG(1) and IgG(4) isotypes may help to distinguish newly exposed, patent and post-patent D. medinensis infections.

Cytokine and chemokine responses in patients co-infected with Entamoeba histolytica/dispar, Necator americanus and Mansonella perstans and changes after anti-parasite treatment.

This study examined the impact of concurrent parasite infections (amoebiasis, filariasis, necatoriasis) and the effect of anti-parasite treatment on cytokine and chemokine responses in singly and poly-parasitized patients. Cellular reactivity and parasite-specific Th1- and Th2-type cytokine and chemokine profiles were investigated before and six weeks after treatment. In those patients infected with three parasite species, cellular secretion of interleukin 5 (IL-5) and IL-12p40 by PBMC was strongly diminished (p<0.005) but IL-10 was elevated in parasite-infected patients (p<0.0001) in response to protozoa- and helminth-specific as well as bacteria-specific antigens. Macrophage inflammatory chemokines (MIP-1alpha/CCL3 and MIP-1beta/CCL4), macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC/CCL22) and neutrophil activating chemokine (IL-8/CXCL8) were produced by PBMC in similar amounts in endemic controls and singly and poly-parasitized patients, but thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC/CCL17) was produced the highest by PBMC from patients with triple parasite infections (p<0.0001). Following anti-parasite therapy, secretion of IL-12p40 and IL-5 augmented significantly in treated patients while IL-10, MDC, MIP-1alpha, TARC and IL-8 substantially diminished (all p<10(-5)) when their PBMC were activated with parasite- and bacteria-specific antigens. In summary, PBMC from poly-parasitized patients responded to protozoa- and helminth-specific antigens with a compromised IL-5 and IL-12p40 but high IL-10 and a substantial chemokine release. Chemokines may attract and activate effector cells in peri-parasitic tissues to limit parasite proliferation and dissemination, while depressed IL-5 and IL-12p40 but prominent IL-10 may prevent eosinophil and cytotoxic cell-mediated inflammatory processes and pathogenesis to the host. The changes in this profile following anti-parasite therapy disclosed the dynamics of an immune adaptation associated with parasite accumulation and also with clearance of parasite infections.

Parasite-specific antibody and cytokine profiles in newborns from Plasmodium falciparum and Entamoeba histolytica/dispar-infected mothers.

Passage of parasites and their antigens across the placenta occurs with metazoan as well as protozoan parasites, and this study addressed to which extent exposure to and infection of mothers with Plasmodium spp. and Entamoeba histolytica/dispar has sensitized their offspring for parasite-specific immune responses. While at delivery none of the mothers presented with an acute malaria attack, 42% were seropositive for P. falciparum. In half of the mothers cysts of E. histolytica/dispar were detected in stool specimen, 51% of them were found seropositive for E. histolytica, and E. histolytica-specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) responses were detected in neonates of seropositive mothers as well. Umbilical cord blood cells (UCBC) from neonates, when activated with the mitogen phytohaemagglutinine (PHA) and bacterial streptolysin O (SL-O), released significantly less interferon (IFN)-gamma, interleukin (IL)-10 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha into cell culture supernatants than peripheral blood cells (PBMC) of mothers. In response to Plasmodium- and Entamoeba-specific antigens UCBC and PBMC produced equal amounts of IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma and IL-5, but PBMC from mothers secreted significantly more IL-10. Parasite-specific production of inflammatory and Th(1)- and Th(2)-type cytokines was similar in newborns of Plasmodium and Entamoeba seropositive and seronegative mothers. In summary, repeated exposure and subclinical infection of mothers with E. histolytica or P. falciparum will suffice to prime in utero their children for inflammatory and both Th(1)- and Th(2)-type cytokine responses, and such broad and mixed cytokine spectrum may be of advantage upon secondary parasite challenge in later life.

Regulatory effects of IL-12 and IL-18 on Onchocerca volvulus- and Entamoeba histolytica-specific cellular reactivity and cytokine profiles.

In the present study, the cytokines interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-18 were evaluated for their capacity to modulate and to re-direct in vitro parasite antigen-specific cellular responsiveness in patients exposed to Onchocerca volvulus and Entamoeba histolytica infection. We found that IL-18 was highly capable of reducing parasite antigen-induced IL-10 production by PBMC. In contrast, addition or neutralization of IL-12, also in combination with IL-18 and the interferon-gamma-inducible chemokine IP-10 did not affect IL-10 production. Interestingly, the highest IL-10 levels were measured when IL-18 and IP-10 were both neutralized. Although having no effect on IL-10, IL-12 strongly promoted spontaneous and parasite antigen-driven IFN-gamma production by PBMC, whereas IL-18 was only moderately affecting IFN-gamma release by PBMC re-stimulated with E. histolytica- or O. volvulus-specific antigens. Both IL-12 and IL-18 diminished the cellular production of IL-13, and a synergistic effect was observed when the cytokines were combined. Likewise, neutralization of IL-12 enhanced Entamoeba and Onchocerca antigen-driven IL-13 production, but no further increase of IL-13 was observed, when anti-IL-12 and anti-IL-18 were used together. This study disclosed that IL-18 will significantly down-regulate parasite-specific IL-10 production, whereas IL-12 induced IFN-gamma and inhibited IL-13 production by PBMC from humans exposed to O. volvulus and E. histolytica. Such selective immune-regulatory capacity of IL-12 and IL-18 may comprise an important tool to re-direct polarized cytokine responses towards a balanced Th1/Th2 cytokine profile, which may prevent pathology and promote immunity against helminth and protozoan parasite infections.