Schistosomal myeloradiculopathy (SMR) is the most serious ectopic presentation of Schistosoma mansoni infection. The pathogenesis occurs mainly via the host inflammatory response to the eggs of the parasite that are stuck in the central nervous system, and the diagnosis is generally made by the exclusion of other neurological diseases.
We aimed to evaluate the immune status of SMR patients and to identify a marker for SMR diagnosis.
We enrolled 15 patients with a presumptive diagnosis of SMR, and the control groups included 17 patients with myelopathy associated with human T cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and 11 with other neurological disorders. The determination of soluble egg antigen-specific IgE and the levels of cytokines from Th1, Th2, Th17 and T-regulatory cell profiles and the chemokines MIP-1a and RANTES were measured in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum using an ELISA technique.
We observed that SMR leads to an increase in IgE levels in the CSF compared to serum, and the levels of IL-13 and MIP-1α were significantly higher in the CSF and serum of the SMR patients than in the patients with HTLV-1-associated myelopathy. The levels of MIP-1α and RANTES were higher in the CSF than in the serum of the SMR group. The ratio between levels of IL-13, MIP-1α and RANTES over IL-10 was positive in the CSF of the SMR patients.
These results indicate that S. mansoni-specific IgE in the CSF is a promising marker for the diagnosis of SMR and that the cytokines and chemokines associated with the Th2 profile may be important factors in the immunopathogenesis of SMR.