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Different clinical allergological features of Taenia solium infestation

  • Authors: Minciullo, P.; Cascio, A.; Isola, S.; Gangemi, S.
  • Publication year: 2016
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Key words: Allergy; Anaphylaxis; Angioedema; Asthma; Cysticercosis; Taenia solium; Urticaria; Immunology and Allergy; Immunology; Molecular Biology
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The tapeworm Taenia (T.) solium can be responsible for two different conditions: taeniasis and cysticercosis. Helminth infections in human host cause an immune response associated with elevated levels of IgE, tissue eosinophilia and mastocytosis, and with the presence of CD4+ T cells that preferentially produce IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13. Individuals exposed to helminth infections may have allergic inflammatory responses to parasites and parasite antigens. PubMed search of human cases of allergic reactions occurring during T. solium infestation was performed combining the terms (allergy, urticaria, angioedema, asthma, anaphylaxis) with T. solium. A study was considered eligible for inclusion in the review if it reported data on patients with T. solium infestation who had signs or symptoms of allergy. In literature we found six articles reporting the association between an allergic reaction and T. solium infestation: two cases of urticaria, two cases of relapsing angioedema, one case of asthma and two cases of anaphylaxis. Despite the large diffusion of T. solium infestation, we found only a few cases of concomitant allergic reaction and the presence of Taenia in the host. The association between T. solium infestation and allergic manifestations has never been clearly demonstrated, and in absence of a well-documented causality the hypotheses are merely speculative. Therefore, the association between Taenia infection and allergy needs to be thoroughly studied to better clarify if this association may really exist and which is the pathogenetic mechanism supported.