Characterization of the inflammatory cell infiltrate and expression of costimulatory molecules in chronic echinococcus granulosus infection of the human liver

A. Vatankhah, J. Halász, V. Piurkó, T. Barbai, E. Rásó, J. Tímár

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The local immune responses to chronic echinococcal infections in various organs are largely unknown. Since the liver is the most frequently involved organ in such infections in human we aimed to characterize the inflammatory as well as immune cell infiltrate around hydatid cysts in the liver and compared to common inflammatory processes of the liver. Method: Surgical samples from the liver of 21 cystic echinococcosis (CE) patients were studied and the distribution of different types of inflammatory and immune cells were determined by immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, expression levels of costimulatory CTLA4, CD28, CD80 and CD86 molecules were measured at RNA level by PCR. Liver biopsy samples from patients with steatohepatitis (SH, n = 11) and chronic hepatitis (CH, n = 11) were used as non-inflammatory and chronic inflammatory controls, respectively. The composition and density of the inflammatory and immune cell infiltrates have been compared by using morphometry. Results: CD3+ T cells predominated the inflammatory infiltrate in all pathological processes, while in CE samples CD20+ B cells, in CH samples CD68+ macrophages were also frequent. Both myeloperoxidase (MPO) + leukocytes and CD68+ macrophages were found to be significantly decreased in CE as compared to either SH or CH samples. Concerning T cell subtypes, only CD8+ T cells were found to be significantly decreased in SH samples. CD1a + dendritic cells were almost completely missing from CE biopsies unlike in any other sample types. There were no differences detected in the mRNA expression of costimulatory molecules except decreased expression of CD28 in CE samples. Conclusion: In the hydatid lesions of the liver of chronic echinococcal infections T cell-mediated immunity seems to be impaired as compared to other types of chronic inflammatory processes, suggesting an immunosuppressive role for Echinococcus granulosus, which deserve further attentions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number530
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 17 2015



  • Cell infiltrate
  • Costimulatory molecules
  • Dendritic cells
  • Echinococcosis
  • Human liver
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lymphocytes
  • Macrophage
  • RT-PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases

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