Effects of albendazole treatment on the clinical outcome and immunological responses in patients with helminth infection and pulmonary tuberculosis: a randomized clinical trial
2013 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Background: The impact of helminth infection on the host immune response to tuberculosis (TB) has been characterized in experimental models but less so in the clinical setting. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of deworming on the clinical outcome and cell mediated immune response in active TB.
Methods: Newly diagnosed pulmonary TB patients in Gondar, Ethiopia were examined for helminth infection. Helminth-positive TB patients (W+/TB) were randomized to albendazole (400mg X III per os) or placebo. The primary outcome was change in TB-score after 2 months, and secondary outcomes were sputum smear conversion at the 2nd month, and changes in chest x-ray pattern, CD4+ T-cell count, eosinophil count, IgE-levels and immunological responses after 3 months. In a subset of W+/TB, W-/TB patients and healthy controls, flow cytometry and ELISPOT assays were used to characterize the regulatory T-cell population (Tregs) and the frequency of PPD- stimulated IFN-γ, IL-5 and IL-10 producing peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).
Results: A total of 140 helminth co-infected TB patients were included with an HIV coinfection rate of 22.8 %. Following albendazole treatment of the W+/TB patients, there was a significant decrease in helminth infection compared to placebo (8% (4/49) vs. 48 % (22/46), p<0.001). No significant effect was observed for albendazole compared to placebo on the primary outcome as evaluated by the TB-score (5.6 ±2.87 vs. 5.87 ±2.54, p=0.59). Eosinophil counts decreased significantly in the albendazole group. In a subgroup analysis of helminthnegative patients following albendazole treatment versus placebo, the albendazole group showed a trend for lower levels of IL-10 producing cells at month three (p=0.08). At baseline, W+/TB patients had a significantly higher mean level of Tregs (% Tregs/CD4+) compared to W-/TB patients and helminth-positive community controls. Additionally, the frequency of IFN-γ, IL-5 and spontaneous IL-10 levels was increased in helminth-positive compared to helminth-negative TB patients.
Conclusions: No significant effects on the clinical outcome as measured with the TB-score was detected after albendazole treatment of helminth-positive TB patients compared to placebo. However, significant changes were observed in specific immunological responses such as reduced eosinophil counts and a trend towards lower levels of IL-10 producing cells. At baseline, helminth co-infected TB patients exhibited an increased Treg response as well as an increased IL-5 and spontaneous IL-10 production.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Regulatory T-cells, helminth, tuberculosis, albendazole, deworming, Ethiopia, HIV
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-91827OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-91827DiVA: diva2:619200