OBJECTIVE: To determine the usefulness of IL-10 and immunoglobulin M (IgM) as biomarkers for staging HAT in vervet monkeys, a useful pathogenesis model for humans. METHODS: Vervet monkeys were infected with Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and subsequently given sub-curative and curative treatment 28 and 140 days post-infection (dpi) respectively. Matched serum and CSF samples were obtained at regular intervals and immunospecific IgM, immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IL-10 were quantified by ELISA. RESULTS: There was no detectable immunospecific IgM and IgG in the CSF before 49 dpi. CSF IgM and IgG and serum IgM were significantly elevated with peak levels coinciding with meningoencephalitis 98 dpi. The serum IL-10 was upregulated in both early and late disease stage, coinciding with primary and relapse parasitaemia respectively. CSF white cell counts (CSF WCC) were elevated progressively till curative treatment was given. After curative treatment, there was rapid and significant drop in serum IgM and IL-10 concentration as well as CSF WCC. However, the CSF IgM and IgG remained detectable to the end of the study. CONCLUSIONS: Serum and CSF concentrations of immunospecific IgM and CSF IgG changes followed a pattern that mimics the progression of the disease and may present reliable and useful biomarkers of the disease stage. Due to rapid decline, serum IgM and IL-10 are, additionally, potential biomarkers of the success of chemotherapy.
Tropical Medicine and International Health, 2009, Vol 14, Issue 7, p. 736-747