Immunomodulation by helminth parasites: Defining mechanisms and mediators

Henry J McSorley, James P Hewitson, Rick M Maizels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Epidemiological and interventional human studies, as well as experiments in animal models, strongly indicate that helminth parasitic infections can confer protection from immune dysregulatory diseases such as allergy, autoimmunity and colitis. Here, we review the immunological pathways that helminths exploit to downregulate immune responses, both against bystander specificities such as allergens and against antigens from the parasites themselves. In particular, we focus on a highly informative laboratory system, the mouse intestinal nematode, Heligmosomoides polygyrus, as a tractable model of host-parasite interaction at the cellular and molecular levels. Analysis of the molecules released in vitro (as excretory-secretory products) and their cellular targets is identifying individual parasite molecules and gene families implicated in immunomodulation, and which hold potential for future human therapy of immunopathological conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-310
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal For Parasitology
Volume43
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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