We examined whether antibody isotype responses to paramyosin (PM), a vaccine candidate for schistosomiasis, are associated with age-dependent resistance and pathology in liver fibrosis using human sera collected from 139 individuals infected with Schistosoma japonicum in Leyte, The Philippines. We report that IgA and IgG3 responses to PM showed a positive correlation with age and that the epitopes responsible were localized predominantly within the N-terminal half of PM. In addition, the IgG3 response to PM was associated with serum level of procollagen-III-peptide (P-III-P), an indicator of progression of liver fibrosis. These results imply that IgG3 against PM may not only provoke age-dependent resistance to S. japonicum infection but also enhance liver fibrosis. In contrast, levels of IgE to PM and to multiple PM fragments showed a negative correlation with P-III-P level. Thus, in contrast to IgG3, increases in PM-specific IgE may contribute to suppression of liver pathogenesis in schistosomiasis.
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