Open Access Research article

Downregulation of MIP-1α/CCL3 with praziquantel treatment in Schistosoma haematobium and HIV-1 co-infected individuals in a rural community in Zimbabwe

RBL Zinyama-Gutsire12, E Gomo3, P Kallestrup4, C Erikstrup5, H Ullum5, AE Butterworth6, S Munyati2 and T Mduluza1*

Author Affiliations

1 Biochemistry Department, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe

2 National Institute of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Harare, Zimbabwe

3 Department of Immunology, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe

4 Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism, Department of Infectious Diseases 7641, Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 9, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark

5 Department of Clinical Immunology, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby Sygehus, Brendstrupgaardsvej 100, DK-8200 Aarhus N, Denmark

6 Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2009, 9:174  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-9-174

Published: 23 October 2009



Chemokines have been reported to play an important role in granulomatous inflammation during Schistosoma mansoni infection. However there is less information on their role in Schistosoma haematobium infection, or on the effect of concurrent HIV-1 infection, as a potential modifying influence.


To determine levels of MIP-1α/CCL3 chemokine in plasma of S. haematobium and HIV-1 co-infected and uninfected individuals in a rural black Zimbabwean community.

A cohort was established of HIV-1 and schistosomiasis infection and co-infection comprising 379 participants. Outcome measures consisted of HIV-1 and schistosomiasis status and levels of MIP-1α/CCL3 in plasma at baseline and three months post treatment. An association was established between MIP-1α/CCL3 plasma levels with HIV-1 and S. haematobium infections.


A total of 379 adults formed the established cohort comprising 76 (20%) men and 303 (80%) women. Mean age was 33.25, range 17 - 62 years. The median MIP-1α/CCL3 plasma concentration was significantly higher in S. haematobium infected compared with uninfected individuals (p = 0.029). In contrast, there was no difference in the median MIP-1α/CCL3 levels between HIV-1 positive and negative individuals (p = 0.631). MIP-1α/CCL3 concentration in plasma was significantly reduced at three months after treatment with praziquantel (p = 000).


The results of our study show that the MIP-1α/CCL3 levels were positively associated with S. haematobium egg counts at baseline but not with HIV-1 infection status. MIP-1α/CCL3 levels were significantly reduced at three months post treatment with praziquantel. We therefore conclude that MIP-1α/CCL3 is produced during infection with S haematobium. S. haematobium infection is associated with increased MIP-1α/CCL3 levels in an egg intensity-dependent manner and treatment of S. haematobium is associated with a reduction in MIP-1α/CCL3.