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The influence of sex and age on antibody isotype responses to Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonicum in human populations in Kenya and the Philippines

  • M. WEBSTER (a1), B. D. L. LIBRANDA-RAMIREZ (a2), G. D. ALIGUI (a3), R. M. OLVEDA (a2), J. H. OUMA (a4), H. C. KARIUKI (a4), G. KIMANI (a5), G. R. OLDS (a6), A. J. C. FULFORD (a1), A. E. BUTTERWORTH (a1) and D. W. DUNNE (a1)...


We have investigated the effects of host age and sex on human antibody isotype responses to Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonicum adult worm (AW) and soluble egg (SEA) antigens, using sera from subjects in Kenya and the Philippines. Similar trends with age were observed between the two populations despite host, parasite and environmental differences between the two geographical locations. IgE to AW increased with age, whereas most isotype responses to SEA decreased with age. IgG1, IgG3 and IgG4 subclass responses to adult worm, however, did not show a broadly rising or falling pattern with age. Males were found to have higher IgG1, IgG4 and IgE to AW in both populations. This sex difference remained significant in the Kenyan population even after controlling statistically for confounding factors such as age and differences in intensity of infection. Analysis of S. mansoni and S. japonicum adult worm antigens reactive with IgE revealed a predominant 22 kDa band in both parasites. Only those individuals with relatively high IgE titres specifically reactive with S. mansoni or S. japonicum AW had detectable IgE against Sj22 or Sm22.


Corresponding author

Corresponding author: Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QP. Tel: +01223 333338. Fax: +01223 333741. E-mail:



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