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HLA-G expression during hookworm infection in pregnant women

Avokpaho, Euripide, d’Almeida, Tania C., Sadissou, Ibrahim, Tokplonou, Léonidas, Adamou, Rafiou, Sonon, Paulin, Milet, Jacqueline, Cottrell, Gilles, Mondière, Amandine, Massougbodji, Achille, Moutairou, Kabirou, Donadi, Eduardo A., Teixeira Mendes Junior, Celso, Favier, Benoit, Carosella, Edgardo, Moreau, Philippe, Rouas-Freiss, Nathalie, Garcia, André, Courtin, David
Acta tropica 2019 v.196 pp. 52-59
blood sampling, helminthiasis, hookworms, immune response, immunosuppression, pathogens, pregnancy, pregnant women, prenatal care, regression analysis, Benin
HLA-G plays a key role on immune tolerance. Pathogens can induce soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) production to down-regulate the host immune response, creating a tolerogenic environment favorable for their dissemination. To our knowledge, no study has yet been conducted to assess the relationship between sHLA-G and geohelminth infections.The study was conducted in Allada, Southeastern Benin, from 2011−2014. The study population encompassed 400 pregnant women, included before the end of the 28th week of gestation and followed-up until delivery. At two antenatal care visits and at delivery, stool and blood samples were collected. Helminths were diagnosed by means of the Kato-Katz concentration technique. We used quantile regression to analyze the association between helminth infections and sHLA-G levels during pregnancy.sHLA-G levels gradually increased during pregnancy and reached maximal levels at delivery. Prevalence of helminth infections was low, with a majority of hookworm infections. We found significantly more hookworm-infected women above the 80th quantile (Q80) of the distribution of the mean sHLA-G level (p < 0.03, multivariate quantile regression). Considering only women above the Q80 percentile, the mean sHLA-G level was significantly higher in hookworm-infected compared to uninfected women (p = 0.04).High levels of sHLA-G were associated with hookworm infection in pregnant women. This result is consistent with the potential involvement of sHLA-G in immune tolerance induced by helminths during pregnancy.