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Effects of albendazole treatment on the clinical outcome and immunological responses in patients with helminth infection and pulmonary tuberculosis: a randomized clinical trial
Gondar College of Medical and Health Sciences, Gondar University, Gondar, Ethiopia; Armauer Hansen Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
University of Southern Denmark, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Department of cancer and inflammation, Odense, Denmark.
Gondar College of Medical and Health Sciences, Gondar University, Gondar, Ethiopia.
Gondar College of Medical and Health Sciences, Gondar University, Gondar, Ethiopia.
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2013 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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
2013.
Keyword [en]
Regulatory T-cells, helminth, tuberculosis, albendazole, deworming, Ethiopia, HIV
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-91827OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-91827DiVA: diva2:619200
Available from: 2013-05-02 Created: 2013-05-02 Last updated: 2013-05-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The impact of helminth infection in patients with active tuberculosis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The impact of helminth infection in patients with active tuberculosis
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The geographic distribution of helminth infection and tuberculosis (TB) overlap substantially. Experimental animal models and limited data from humans have shown that intestinal helminths could subvert the host immune response towards a T-helper 2 (Th2)-type immune response and an increased regulatory T-cell activity (Tregs). This in turn affects the host's ability to mount an effective Th1 immune-mediated protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, evidence for this hypothesis in the human setting from helminth infected TB patients is limited. This thesis primarily focuses on the immunological and clinical impact of helminth infection on pulmonary TB. The kinetics of the Quantiferon-Gold (QFN) assay, which measures IFN-³ response to TB-specific antigens in whole blood was assessed and showed a modest decline during TB treatment to the level observed for healthy blood donors. We further assessed another clinical monitoring tool, the-TB-score, composed of clinical signs and symptoms of TB, and found an early decline two weeks after initiation of TB- treatment where a failure of decline correlated with increased mortality. Overall, the helminth co-infection rate was significantly higher in TB patients compared to healthy controls. Helminth co-infection was associated to a significantly higher rate of eosinophilia and IgE-levels in healthy controls and patients with tuberculosis. During the first weeks of anti-TB treatment, a marked decrease in the rate of helminth infection was observed in HIV co-infected compared to HIV-negative TB patients. However, helminth co-infection was more common in HIV negative than HIV positive TB patients. There was no detectable impact of helminth infection on the clinical presentation of pulmonary tuberculosis. At baseline, helminth co-infected TB patients showed an increased frequency of Tregs compared to helminth negative TB patients and healthy controls. This was accompanied by an increased rate of PPD stimulated IL-5 and spontaneous production of IL-10 by peripheral blood mononuclear cells among helminth co-infected TB patients. A placebo controlled randomized trial was conducted in order to test the hypothesis that albendazole treatment of helminth positive TB patients may improve the clinical response of TB by reducing the immunmodulatory effect of helminthes on TB immunity. A total of 140 helminth co-infected TB patients were randomized to albendazole (400 mg per os for three consecutive days) or placebo. No significant difference was observed between the albendazole and placebo group in terms of the primary outcome (TB score change between baseline and week 8). Among the secondary outcomes, a significant decline of peripheral eosinophil cells was observed in the albendazole treated group, but no effect on other outcome variables (changes in chest x-ray findings, IgE level and sputum smear conversion). Regarding the immunological assessment no significant difference was observed for changes in Tregs, and PPD-induced production of IFN- ³ or IL-5 although a non-significant trend of a decrease in IL-10 expressing PBMCs were observed in the albendazole group. Taken together, the burden of helminth infection was higher in TB patients than in a healthy control group. Helminth co-infection during pulmonary TB in the human setting induces an immune response characterized by increased IgE production, eosinophilia as well as increased levels of Tregs and spontaneous IL-10 production. Thus, the immunological impact of helminth infection on the outcome and risk for developing TB merits further investigation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 84 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1361
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-91833 (URN)978-91-7519-653-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-06-05, Berzeliussalen, Hälsouniversitetet, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
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Available from: 2013-05-02 Created: 2013-05-02 Last updated: 2013-05-22Bibliographically approved

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