Iranian Journal of Parasitology 2014. 9(3):292-301.

Assessment of the Effects of a Novel Herbal Immunomodulator Drug (IMOD) on Cytokine Profiles in Experimental Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis: a Preliminary Survey.
Abdolali Malmasi, Bijan Ziaie Ardestani, Saeed Bayanolhagh, Mehdi Mohebali, Hamidreza Khorram Khorshid, Parisa Sadrpour, Negin Hosseini Rouzbahani, Behnaz Akhoundi, Soulmaz Naserli, Shadi Ziaie, Ehsan Mostafavi


Background: Cytokines play a fundamental role in the regulation of immune responses in remission and/or relapsing of leishmaniasis. Therefore, immunotherapy for the treatment of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) has represented a principle approach in control of the infection. The present research aimed to evaluating the immunotherapeutic potential of a novel herbal immunomodulator drug (IMOD) on CVL.

Methods: Twelve mongrel dogs were intravenously infected with Iranian strain of L. infantum and randomly divided into three groups; 1: negative control (non-infected), 2: immunotherapy with IMOD and 3: positive control (non-treated). Cell proliferation and Th1-/Th2-type cytokines were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) by cell proliferation kit I (MTT) and enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assays, respectively.

Results : At the 60 days follow-up assessment, no adverse effects were observed in treated interventional group. Cellular proliferation assay indicated that PBMCs of IMOD group had higher stimulation index (SI) than positive control group (p <0.05). Enhancement of CD4+ T cells such as IL-2, IL-4 & IL-10 were detected in negative control group due to in vitro IMOD stimulation 30 days post-treatment. In accordance to decreasing trends of Th1 & Th2 cytokines in positive control group, the mean number of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4 and IL-10 spot forming cells (SFCs) down regulated for IMOD group during the study.

Conclusion: These data indicate that IMOD had immunomodulatory potential but is not sufficient for total parasitic cure due to balance of Th1/Th2 cytokines. This is a preliminary study and we propose to undertake a series of experiments to evaluate the CVL due to in vitro modulatory effects of IMOD.


Cytokine; Dog; Immunomodulator; Leishmaniasis; Therapy

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