Cellular immune responses in peripheral blood lymphocytes of Giardia infected squirrel monkey (Saimiri boliviensis boliviensis) treated with Fenbendazole

Pramod N. Nehete, Gregory Wilkerson, Bharti P. Nehete, Sriram Chitta, Julio C. Ruiz, Henrieta Scholtzova, Lawrence E. Williams, Christian R. Abee, John A. Vanchiere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Cellular immune responses were tested to determine the effect of fenbendazole on the function of lymphocytes from Bolivian squirrel monkeys (Samiri boliviensis boliviensis). Giardia-infected squirrel monkeys were treated with commercially available fenbendazole (FBZ)-medicated monkey chow. Immune responses were compared between historical controls (Giardia naïve, untreated with FBZ (control animals)) and Giardia-infected, FBZ-treated squirrel monkeys (study animals). Peripheral blood lymphocytes from study monkeys had significantly lower stimulation indices compared to control animals when cultured in vitro with concanavalin A (Con A) (p<0.0001), phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) (p<0.0001) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (p<0.0001). PBMCs were also analyzed for IFN-γ producing cells in response to stimulation with Con A, PHA, PWM, and LPS by the cytokine ELISPOT assay. Significantly higher responses to Con A- (p<0.0001), and PHA- (p<0.001) stimulated cultures from Giardia-infected and fenbendazole treated compared to controls. Flow cytometric analysis for expression of cell surface markers revealed a significant increase in B- and NKT-lymphocytes and significant decrease in CD14+CD16+ monocytes after FBZ treatment. Also, circulating plasma cytokines IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-12p40, IL-1β, IL-10, IL-13, IL-1ra, IL-6 and IL-4 were significantly decreased after FBZ treatment. Comparison of hematologic parameters between controls and FBZ-treated squirrel monkeys revealed significantly lower numbers of total leukocytes, neutrophils, monocytes, and eosinophils compared to controls. However, erythrocyte indices (red cell count, hemoglobin and hematocrit were significantly higher in FBZ-treated monkeys. Our findings suggest that fenbendazole treatment may alter sensitive immune and molecular measures of inflammation. Postponing the experimental use of squirrel monkeys until at least 6 weeks after FBZ treatment should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0198497
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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