The association of host age and gender with inflammation around neurocysticercosis cysts

E. A. Kelvin, A. Carpio, E. Bagiella, D. Leslie, P. Leon, H. Andrews, W. A. Hauser, N. Lisanti, R. Aguirre, M. Serrano, J. Pesantes, J. Moncayo, M. Roman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

The results of previous investigations indicate that age and gender may influence the strength of the human host's immune response to infection of the central nervous system with the larvae of Taenia solium. Most of the relevant research on such neurocysticercosis (NCC) has, however, been conducted on hospital-based samples in developing countries, where differential access to healthcare may bias the study results. Using data from 171 NCC patients participating in a treatment trial, the associations of patient age and gender with the presence of inflammation around NCC cysts (i.e. cysts in the transitional phase) have recently been explored, after controlling for measures of economic and geographical access to healthcare. Data on cysts were collected from computed-tomography ormagnetic-resonance images taken at four time-points, frombaseline to 12-months post-treatment. The odds of having transitional cysts were evaluated by logistic regression whereas Poisson regression was used to explore the numbers of transitional cysts, with generalised estimating equations (GEE) used to account for the multiple observations over time. After controlling for healthcare access, the odds of having transitional cysts were found to be 1.5-fold higher for the female patients than for the male, although this association was not statistically significant (P=0.136). In the Poisson model, however, the number of transitional cysts was found to be 1.8-fold higher in the female patients than in the male, and this gender effect was not only statistically significant (P=0.002) but also constant over time. The association of host age with transitional cysts was more complicated, with significant interaction between age and time. It therefore appears that there are significant gender and age differences in the local immune response to NCC, even after adjusting for differences in healthcare access.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-499
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology
Volume103
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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