Background: Leishmania is a significant health problem in many parts of the world. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) plays an essential role in Leishmania major infections.
Objective: To study the pro-inflammatory cytokines and antioxidants in four groups of cutaneous leishmaniasis patients.
Methods: 39 patients were divided into four groups of: 1) active (acute phase of treatment); 2) non-healing (received treatment for almost two years without recovery); 3) healing (recovered upon treatment); and 4) healed (previously received treatment and achieved complete remission) patients. Serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1B, TNF-α, IL-6) and serum antioxidant levels were measured by ELISA and FRAP assays, respectively.
Results: While serum antioxidant levels were elevated in the non-healing group, there was no difference among other groups of patients and healthy controls in this regard. Interleukin-1β showed the highest level in the non-healing group followed by the other groups of patients. The mean serum IL-6 level was highest in the non-healing group, but showed no significant change in the other groups. TNF-α and IL-1β levels were non-significantly elevated in the sera of active and non-healing patients.
Conclusion: Pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6 maybe related to the progression of leishmaniasis. Serum antioxidant levels maybe correlated with patient response to drug treatment.