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The strength of the antibody response to the nematode Ascaris lumbricoides inversely correlates with levels of B-Cell Activating Factor (BAFF)

Adriana Bornacelly12, Dilia Mercado1, Nathalie Acevedo12 and Luis Caraballo12*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Immunological Research, University of Cartagena, Cra 5, #7-77, 13-0015 Cartagena, Colombia

2 Foundation for the Development of Medical and Biological Sciences (Fundemeb), 13-0001 Cartagena, Colombia

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BMC Immunology 2014, 15:22  doi:10.1186/1471-2172-15-22

Published: 7 June 2014



B-Cell Activating Factor (BAFF) is a cytokine regulating antibody production. Polymorphisms in the gene encoding BAFF were associated with the antibody response to Ascaris but not to mite allergens. In the present study we evaluated the relationship between BAFF and specific antibodies against Ascaris and mites in 448 controls and 448 asthmatics. Soluble BAFF was measured by ELISA and BAFF mRNA by qPCR. Surface expression of BAFF and its receptor (BAFF-R) was analyzed by flow cytometry.


Individuals with specific IgE levels to Ascaris >75th percentile had lower levels of soluble BAFF; those with specific IgG levels to Ascaris >75th percentile had reduced BAFF mRNA. Total IgE and specific IgE to mites were not related to BAFF levels. There were no differences in soluble BAFF or mRNA levels between asthmatics and controls. There was an inverse relationship between the cell-surface expression of BAFF-R on CD19+ B cells and BAFF levels at the transcriptional and protein level.


These findings suggest that differences in BAFF levels are related to the strength of the antibody response to Ascaris.

Ascaris; Antibodies; Asthma; BAFF; BAFF-R; IgE; IgG; Immune response; Nematode; Parasite