Regulation of the host immune system by helminth parasites

Rick M Maizels, Henry J McSorley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Helminth parasite infections are associated with a battery of immunomodulatory mechanisms, which impact all facets of the host immune response to ensure their persistence within the host. This broad-spectrum modulation of host immunity has intended and unintended consequences, both advantageous and disadvantageous. Thus the host may benefit from suppression of collateral damage during parasite infection, and from reduced allergic, autoimmune and inflammatory reactions. However, helminth infection can also be detrimental in reducing vaccine responses, increasing susceptibility to co-infection, and potentially reducing tumor immunosurveillance. In this review we will summarize the panoply of immunomodulatory mechanisms used by helminths, their potential utility in human disease, and prospective areas of future research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Early online date29 Jul 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jul 2016


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