Open Access Open Badges Research article

Chagasic patients are able to respond against a viral antigen from influenza virus

Paola Lasso1, Diana Mesa1, Natalia Bolaños2, Adriana Cuéllar3, Fanny Guzmán4, Zulma Cucunuba5, Fernando Rosas6, Víctor Velasco6, Maria C Thomas7, Manuel Carlos López7, John Mario González2 and Concepción Judith Puerta18*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratorio de Parasitología Molecular, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Carrera 7 No. 43 – 82, Bogotá, Colombia

2 Grupo de Ciencias Básicas Médicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de los Andes, Carrera 1 No. 18A – 10, Bogotá, Colombia

3 Grupo de Inmunobiología y Biología Celular, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Carrera 7 No. 43 – 82, Bogotá, Colombia

4 Núcleo de Biotecnología Curauma, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Avenida Universidad 330, Valparaíso, Chile

5 Grupo de Parasitología, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Avenida Calle 26 No. 51 – 20, Bogotá, Colombia

6 Fundación Clínica Abood Shaio, Diag. 115A No. 70C – 75, Bogotá, Colombia

7 Instituto de Parasitología y Biomedicina López Neyra, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IPBLN-CSIC), Parque Tecnológico de Ciencias de la Salud, Avda. del Conocimiento, s/n.18100, Granada, Spain

8 Departamento de Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Laboratorio de Parasitología Molecular, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:198  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-198

Published: 24 August 2012



Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas’ disease, is an obligate intracellular parasite which induces a CD8+ T cell immune response with secretion of cytokines and release of cytotoxic granules. Although an immune-suppressive effect of T. cruzi on the acute phase of the disease has been described, little is known about the capacity of CD8+ T cell from chronic chagasic patients to respond to a non-T. cruzi microbial antigen.


In the present paper, the frequency, phenotype and the functional activity of the CD8+ T cells specific from Flu-MP*, an influenza virus epitope, were determined in 13 chagasic patients and 5 healthy donors.


The results show that Flu-MP* peptide specific CD8+ T cells were found with similar frequencies in both groups. In addition, Flu-MP* specific CD8+ T cells were distributed in the early or intermediate/late differentiation stages without showing enrichment of a specific sub-population. The mentioned Flu-MP* specific CD8+ T cells from chagasic patients were predominately TEM (CCR7- CD62L-), producing IL-2, IFNγ, CD107a/b and perforin, and did not present significant differences when compared with those from healthy donors.


Our results support the hypothesis that there is no CD8+ T cell nonspecific immune-suppression during chronic Chagas disease infection. Nonetheless, other viral antigens must be studied in order to confirm our findings.

CD8+ T cells; Chagas disease; Non-T. cruzi microbial antigen; Nonspecific immune-suppression