Background: It appears that chronic lupoid leishmaniasis is the result of type 2 predominant T helper response to parasite and a defect in the down regulation of IL-4 production during infection. The objective of this study was to evaluate the underlying immune status in these patients and their predominant T helper activity we considered serum IgE as an indicator of TH2 activity and IL-4 production as it has been shown in atopic diathesis.
Methods: In 34 cases of chronic lupoid leishmaniasis serum IgE level was measured and compared with 34 control cases of age and sex matched healthy individuals without atopic diathesis. P< 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: There were 21 females and 13 males with a mean age of 14.35±8.3 years in the patients group. The mean age of the control group was 16.11±8.4 (P>0.05 and matched). Nine patients had atopic diathesis. Mean serum IgE level in patients and in the control group was 102.6±22.4 i.u/ml and 135.6±24.9 i.u/ml, respectively (P>0.05 with no significant difference). Mean serum IgE level in patients without atopic diathesis (25 cases) was 66.8±11.3i.u/ml which was significantly lower than the control group (P<0.05).
Conclusion: In this study, serum IgE level in cases with chronic lupoid leishmaniasis was lower than the control group and it seems that in these patients, there is not an underlying Th2 over activity as it is seen in atopic diathesis.