Many diseases are the result of the Th2-phenotype immune response directed against an antigen, by triggering an immune-complex disease. In this situation, the manifestation of disease is not closely related to the pathogen, but to an inappropriate host immune response. Leishmaniasis is one of the most classic examples. We investigated the possibility of clinical recovery in dogs with Leishmaniasis following stimulation of the Th1-type immune response.
The immunomodulation was based on the exaltation of cell-mediated immune response, by extract of Mycobacteria, and the restraint of phlogosis that follows, by antiCOX-2 molecules. This combination gives a notable expansion of cell-mediated cytotoxic effect.
Naturally-infected dogs were enrolled and treated with the immunomodulatory therapy (group A) and a previous reported conventional therapy (group B). All animals were evaluated by clinical, parasitological and immunological criteria to monitor treatment efficacy.
Clinical and laboratory results demonstrated differences in both humoral and cell-mediated immune responses between the two groups. They highlighted a Th2àTh1-shift in group A, together with a significant improvement (p<0,05) in all parameters, whereas group B showed variable clinical improvement in absence of any immune shift.
The approach to diseases characterized by Th2 phenotype should not be limited to fight the pathogen, but also aim to restore an appropriate host immune response. The stimulation with antigens totally divorced from the biomolecular type of Leishmaniaantigens, and the subsequent controlof the disease, indicate that modulation of theimmunophenotypicalattitude of thehost responsecan be acutting-edge approach both inveterinary and human medicine.