Evaluation of IL-12RB1, IL-12B, CXCR-3 and IL-17a expression in cases affected by a non-healing form of cutaneous leishmaniasis: an observational study design

Introduction Seldom cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) may present as a lasting and active lesion(s), known as a non-healing form of CL (NHCL). Non-functional type 1 T helper (Th1) cells are assumed the most important factor in the outcome of the disease. The present study aims to assess some molecular defects that potentially contribute to Th1 impairment in NHCL Methods and analysis This prospective observational study will be implemented among five groups. The first and second groups comprise patients afflicted with non-healing and healing forms of CL, respectively. The third group consists of those recovered participants who have scars as a result of CL. Those participants who have never lived or travelled to endemic areas of leishmaniasis will comprise the fourth group. The fifth group comprises participants living in hyperendemic areas for leishmaniasis, although none of them have been afflicted by CL. The aim is to recruit 10 NHCL cases and 30 participants in each of the other groups. A leishmanin skin test (LST) will be performed to assess in vivo immunity against the Leishmania infection. The cytokine profile (interleukin (IL)-12p70, interferon (IFN)-γ, C-X-C motif chemokine ligand (CXCL)-11 and IL-17a) of the isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) will be evaluated through ELISA. Real-time PCR will determine the C-X-C motif chemokine receptor (CXCR)-3 and IL-17a gene expression and expression of IL-12Rβ1 will be assessed by flow cytometry. Furthermore, IL-12B and IL-12RB1 mutation analysis will be performed
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Discussion It is anticipated that the outcome of the current study will identify IL-12B and IL-12RB1 mutations, which lead to persistent lesions of CL. Furthermore, our expected results will reveal an association between NHCL and pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-12p70, IFN-γ IL-17a and CXCL-11), as well as CXCR-3 expression

Ethics and dissemination This study has been approved by a local ethical committee. The final results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences

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