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Delayed-type hypersensitivity and immunoglobulin E in American cutaneous leishmaniasis.

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Abstract

Delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) and both total and specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody levels were studied during an outbreak of American cutaneous leishmaniasis. Direct correlations were detected between DTH reactivity and either age or the period of evolution of the infection, and a clear association with sex (strongest response in females) was observed. Extremely high, age-dependent, total serum IgE levels were measured in the study group, probably due to concurrent intestinal helminthiasis. A low proportion of the group also had detectable levels of specific anti-Leishmania IgE antibody. Total and specific IgE levels were also sex dependent (lowest in females), and an inverse correlation was found between these levels and DTH responsiveness, possibly reflecting the intervention of regulatory influences of T-lymphocyte activity.

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