Innate Immune Responses and Antioxidant/Oxidant Imbalance Are Major Determinants of Human Chagas Disease

Monisha Dhiman, Yun A. Coronado, Cecilia K. Vallejo, John R. Petersen, Adetoun Ejilemele, Sonia Nuñez, Maria Paola Zago, Heidi Spratt, Nisha Jain Garg

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22 Scopus citations


Background:We investigated the pathological and diagnostic role of selected markers of inflammation, oxidant/antioxidant status, and cellular injury in human Chagas disease.Methods:Seropositive/chagasic subjects characterized as clinically-symptomatic or clinically-asymptomatic (n = 116), seronegative/cardiac subjects (n = 102), and seronegative/healthy subjects (n = 45) were analyzed for peripheral blood biomarkers.Results:Seropositive/chagasic subjects exhibited an increase in sera or plasma levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO, 2.8-fold), advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP, 56%), nitrite (5.7-fold), lipid peroxides (LPO, 12-17-fold) and malondialdehyde (MDA, 4-6-fold); and a decline in superoxide dismutase (SOD, 52%) and glutathione (GSH, 75%) contents. Correlation analysis identified a significant (p<0.001) linear relationship between inflammatory markers (AOPP/nitrite: r = 0.877), inflammation and antioxidant/oxidant status (AOPP/glutathione peroxidase (GPX): r = 0.902, AOPP/GSH: r = 0.806, Nitrite/GPX: 0.773, Nitrite/LPO: 0.805, MDA/MPO: 0.718), and antioxidant/oxidant levels (GPX/MDA: r = 0.768) in chagasic subjects. Of these, MPO, LPO and nitrite biomarkers were highly specific and sensitive for distinguishing seropositive/chagasic subjects from seronegative/healthy controls (p<0.001, training and fitting AUC/ROC >0.95). The MPO (r = 0.664) and LPO (r = 0.841) levels were also correlated with clinical disease state in chagasic subjects (p<0.001). Seronegative/cardiac subjects exhibited up to 77% decline in SOD, 3-5-fold increase in LPO and glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) levels, and statistically insignificant change in MPO, AOPP, MDA, GPX, GSH, and creatine kinase (CK) levels.Conclusions:The interlinked effects of innate immune responses and antioxidant/oxidant imbalance are major determinants of human Chagas disease. The MPO, LPO and nitrite are excellent biomarkers for diagnosing seropositive/chagasic subjects, and MPO and LPO levels have potential utility in identifying clinical severity of Chagas disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2364
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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