S. mansoni-T. cruzi co-infection modulates arginase-1/iNOS expression, liver and heart disease in mice.

Rodrigues JP, Caldas IS, Gonçalves RV et al.

Department of Structural Biology, Federal University of Alfenas, Alfenas, Minas Gerais, 37130-000, Brazil.

Nitric oxide : biology and chemistry. Mar 2017.

Although Schistosoma species and Trypanosoma cruzi share common endemic areas, co-infections by these parasites remains overlooked. By using a murine model of S. mansoni and T. cruzi co-infection, we investigated if and to what extent these infections might interact to change the pathological outcomes typically observed when the host is infected by a single parasite species. Swiss mice were randomized into four groups: uninfected (NI) and those infected by S. mansoni (SM), T. cruzi (TC) or co-infected (SM + TC). After 120 days of S. mansoni infection, T. cruzi was concurrently inoculated and the infection occurred for 30 days. Taken together, we identified that the overlap of Th2 (schistosomiasis) and Th1 (Chagas disease) immunological patterns changes the host resistance against both pathogens. Beyond impairing the control of granulomatous inflammation, T. cruzi parasitemia and parasitism in co-infected animals, the Th2 inflammatory response against S. mansoni elicits the activation of the arginase-1 pathway to the detriment of inducible oxide nitric synthase (iNOS) expression and nitric oxide (NO) production, contributing to the liver damage, with minor effects on heart pathology.