Improvement in clinical signs and cellular immunity of dogs with visceral leishmaniasis using the immunomodulator P-MAPA
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This study investigated the immunotherapeutic potential of the protein aggregate magnesium-ammonium phospholinoleate-palmitoleate anhydride immuno-modulator (P-MAPA) on canine visceral leishmaniasis. Twenty mongrel dogs presenting clinical symptoms compatible with leishmaniasis and diagnosis confirmed by the detection of anti-leishmania antibodies were studied. Ten dogs received 15 doses of the immunomodulator (2.0mg/kg) intramuscularly, and 10 received saline as a placebo. Skin and peripheral blood samples were collected following administration of the immunomodulator. The groups were followed to observe for clinical signals of remission; parasite load in the skin biopsies using real-time PCR, the cytokines IL-2, IL-10 and IFN-γ in the supernatant of peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated in vitro with either total promastigote antigen or phytohemagglutinin measured by capture ELISA, and changes in CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subpopulations evaluated by flow cytometry. Comparison between the groups showed that treatment with the immunomodulator promoted improvement in clinical signs and a significant reduction in parasite load in the skin. In peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures, supernatants showed a decrease in IL-10 levels and an increase in IL-2 and IFN-γ. An increase in CD8+ T cells was observed in peripheral blood. In addition, the in vitro leishmanicidal action of P-MAPA was investigated using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and no leishmanicidal activity was detected. These findings suggest that P-MAPA has potential as an immunotherapeutic drug in canine visceral leishmaniasis, since it assists in reestablishing partial immunocompetence of infected dogs. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
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