Background: In recent field surveys, we failed to detect the presence of specific antibody against Schistosoma japonicum in some egg-positive patients by commonly used immunodiagnostic kits. To find out whether low levels of specific antibody truly exist among egg-positive individuals and elucidate the underlying immune mechanisms, we carried out a cross-sectional epidemiologic study in a S. japonicum low transmission endemic area of Poyang Lake region, China and compared the humoral and cellular immune characteristics between S. japonicum high and low antibody responders. Methods. Kato-Katz thick smear assay was used to determine the schistosomiasis status of 3,384 participants residing in two Poyang Lake region villages, Jiangxi, China. Among the 142 stool egg-positive participants, we identified low and high S. japonicum antibody responders with soluble egg antigen (SEA) and adult worm antigen (AWA) specific IgG levels by adopting ROC curve analysis. To compare the humoral and cellular immune responses between high and low S. japonicum antibody responders, serum specific antibody levels as well as the percentage of T lymphocyte subpopulation in PMBC, and cell stimulated cytokines (IFN- gamma and interlukin-10) were detected. Results: Eight S. japonicum egg-positive participants were defined as low antibody responders. Although the percentage of CD3 + T cells in low responders was slightly higher and the percentage of CD4 + T cells, CD8 + T cells, the ratio of CD4 + /CD8 + and CD4 + CD25 + Treg cells were lower than those in high responders, the differences between the two groups were not significant (P > 0.05). AWA -stimulated interlukin-10 level was significantly higher in high responders, while other cytokines did not show differences between two groups. For antibody profiles, except AWA specific IgA, significant differences of each antibody isotype between low and high responders were detected (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Our study confirmed that there are S. japonicum antibody low responders among schistosome egg-positive residents in S. japonicum low-transmission areas in China. Thus, mis-diagnosis using immune-diagnosis kits do exist. Significant differences of responding antibody levels between low and high responders were detected, while no major cellular response changes were observed. © 2014 Xie et al.; Licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Xie, S. Y., Yuan, M., Ji, M. J., Hu, F., Li, Z. J., Liu, Y. M., … Lin, D. D. (2014). Immune responses result in misdiagnosis of Schistosoma japonicum by immunodiagnosis kits in egg-positive patients living in a low schistosomiasis transmission area of China. Parasites and Vectors, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-7-95