Leishmania infantum: mixed T-helper-1/T-helper-2 immune response in experimentally infected BALB/c mice
Rolão, N.; Cortes, S.; Gomes-Pereira, S.; Campino, L.
Experimental Parasitology 115(3): 270-276
The main goal of the present study was to characterise the course of infection and immunological responses developed by Leishmania infantum infected BALB/c mice. Parasite load was determined by Real-time TaqMan PCR while cytokine and Immunoglobulin G (IgG) production were assessed by ELISA. Leishmania DNA was detected in spleen and liver as soon as day 1 post-inoculation (pi) and the parasitism was sustained until the end of the experiment. The cytokine kinetics in spleen and liver was generally associated with the oscillations of parasite load. Overall, it was not observed a distinct Th1 or Th2 pattern of cytokine production during the time of experiment. The infected mice developed a mixed immune response, with concomitant production of IFN-gamma, IL-4 and IL-10, both in spleen and liver, and both IgG isotypes. However, our results suggest that, compared to liver, the spleen is more susceptible to L. infantum infection.