The effect of three-monthly albendazole treatment on Th2 responses: Differential effects on IgE and IL-5

K. de Ruiter, D. L. Tahapary, L. J. Wammes, A. E. Wiria, F. Hamid, L. van Lieshout, J. W.A. Smit, J. J. Houwing-Duistermaat, E. Sartono, T. Supali, M. Yazdanbakhsh

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Helminth parasites induce a strong Th2 response, characterized by high levels of IgE and elevated signature cytokines such as IL-5. As many global deworming programmes are underway, there is concern that this might lead to emergence of Th1-mediated pathologies when the counterbalancing helminth-induced Th2 response is absent. Therefore, we assessed the effect of deworming on Th2-mediated responses in a household-clustered randomized controlled trial in Indonesia. Total plasma IgE and whole-blood IL-5 responses to mitogen phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) were measured in 1494 and 682 subjects, respectively, at baseline, 9 and 21 months after three-monthly single-dose treatment with albendazole or placebo. Anthelmintic treatment did not result in complete removal of helminth infections in the community. However, treatment significantly decreased IgE levels in albendazole- compared to placebo-treated subjects. IL-5 responses to PHA were not significantly affected by anthelmintic treatment and tended to increase in albendazole-treated subjects, indicating that intensive treatment of helminth parasites has different outcomes on B-cell (IgE levels) and T-cell (IL-5) responses. The data shows that 2 years of deworming can have differential effects on responses typified as Th2-mediated, which needs to be taken into account when examining the impact of helminths on noncommunicable diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12428
JournalParasite Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • IL-5
  • IgE
  • Indonesia
  • Th2
  • albendazole
  • helminths


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