Acta tropica

The innate immune response status correlates with a divergent clinical course in congenital Chagas disease of twins born in a non-endemic country.

PMID 25149352


The innate immune response from diamniotic and dichorionic twin brothers congenitally infected with Trypanosoma. cruzi (strain DTU-V) who displayed different clinical symptomatology was studied. While Brother I manifested severe cardiac and digestive disorders, the Brother II showed slight splenomegaly. The secretion level of IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-12, IL-10, IFN-α and IL-6 cytokines produced after stimulation of peripheral blood cells with TLR-2, TLR-4 and TLR-9 ligands was determined pre- and post-benznidazole treatment. Cells from 10 uninfected infants born to mothers seropositive for Chagas disease were included as control. The obtained data show that the cells of Brother I secreted lower levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and TNF-α (upon TLR-2 and TLR-4 stimulation) relative to those secreted by cells from Brother II and uninfected controls. The cells from Brother II secreted high levels of the IL-1β cytokine following TLR-2 stimulation relative to uninfected controls. The cells from both brothers secreted a higher level of IL-6, following TLR-4 stimulation, than that secreted by uninfected infant cells. After treatments, the cytokine secretion levels were similar in both children and comparable to those of uninfected donors. Treatment success in Brother I and treatment interruption in Brother II was detected by the use of serological biomarkers (KMP11, HSP70, PFR2, Tgp63) as well as follow-up done by PCR. Therefore, the Brother II required a second treatment. The data presented suggest that benznidazol treatment allows the innate immune system to reach a fully functional status similar to that of uninfected subjects.