Counter-regulatory anti-parasite cytokine responses during concurrent Plasmodium yoelii and intestinal helminth infections in mice

Gregory S. Noland, Joseph F. Urban, Bernard Fried, Nirbhay Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Malaria and helminth infections are two of the most prevalent parasitic diseases globally. While concomitant infection is common, mechanisms contributing to altered disease outcomes during co-infection remain poorly defined. We have previously reported exacerbation of normally non-lethal Plasmodium yoelii malaria in BALB/c mice chronically infected with the intestinal trematode Echinostoma caproni. The goal of the present studies was to determine the effect of helminth infection on IFN-γ and other key cytokines during malaria co-infection in the P. yoelii-E. caproni and P. yoelii-Heligmosomoides polygyrus model systems. Polyclonally stimulated spleen cells from both E. caproni- and H. polygyrus-infected mice produced significantly lower amounts of IFN-γ during P. yoelii co-infection than malaria-only infected mice. Furthermore, the magnitude of IFN-γ suppression was correlated with the relative amounts of IL-4 induced by these helminths (E. caproni = low; H. polygyrus = high), but not IL-10. Concurrent malaria infection also suppressed helminth-associated IL-4 responses, indicating that immunologic counter-regulation occurs during co-infection with malaria and intestinal helminths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-278
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008



  • Co-infection
  • Cytokines
  • Echinostoma caproni
  • Heligmosomoides polygyrus
  • Helminths
  • IFN-γ
  • IL-4
  • Immune regulation
  • Malaria
  • Nematode
  • Plasmodium yoelii
  • Trematode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

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