Brazilian strains of Toxoplasma gondii are controlled by azithromycin and modulate cytokine production in human placental explants
Journal of Biomedical Science
Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite that causes congenital toxoplasmosis by transplacental transmission. Parasite strains are genetically diverse and disease severity is related to the genotype. In Uberlândia city, Brazil, two virulent strains were isolated: TgChBrUD1 and TgChBrUD2. Congenital toxoplasmosis is more prevalent in South America compared to Europe, and more often associated with severe symptoms, usually as a result of infection with atypical strains. Methods: Considering that
... s: Considering that T. gondii has shown high genetic diversity in Brazil, the effectiveness of traditional treatment may not be the same, as more virulent strains of atypical genotypes may predominate. Thus, the aim of this study were to evaluate the Brazilian strain infection rate in human villous explants and the azithromycin efficacy with regard to the control of these strains compared to traditional therapy. Villi were infected with RH, ME49, TgChBrUD1 or TgChBrUD2 strains and treated with azithromycin, spiramycin or a combination of pyrimethamine plus sulfadiazine. The villous viability was analyzed by LDH assay and morphological analysis. Parasite proliferation, as well as production of cytokines was analyzed by qPCR and ELISA, respectively. Statistical analysis was performed using the GraphPad Prism 5.0. Results: The treatments were not toxic and TgChBrUD1 infected villi showed a higher parasite burden compared with others strains. Treatments significantly reduced the intracellular proliferation of T. gondii, regardless of the strain. TgChBrUD1-infected villi produced a larger amount of MIF, IL-6 and TGF-β1 compared with other infected villi. Azithromycin treatment increased MIF production by RH-or TgChBrUD2-infected villi, but in ME49-or TgChBrUD1-infected villi, the MIF production was not altered by treatment. On the other hand, azithromycin treatment induced lower IL-6 production by ME49-or TgChBrUD1-infected villi. Conclusions: Azithromycin treatment was effective against T. gondii Brazilian strains compared with conventional treatment. Also, the TgChBrUD1 strain replicated more in villi and modulated important cytokines involved in parasite control, showing that different strains use different strategies to evade the host immune response and ensure their survival.