Similarity and diversity in macrophage activation by nematodes, trematodes, and cestodes

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This review summarizes current knowledge of macrophages in helminth infections, with a focus not only on delineating the striking similarities in macrophage phenotype between diverse infections but also on highlighting the differences. Findings from many different labs illustrate that macrophages in helminth infection can act as anti-parasite effectors but can also act as powerful immune suppressors. The specific role for their alternative (Th2-mediated) activation in helminth killing or expulsion versus immune regulation remains to be determined. Meanwhile, the rapid growth in knowledge of alternatively activated macrophages will require an even more expansive view of their potential functions to include repair of host tissue and regulation of host metabolism.
Original languageEnglish
Article number262609
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Animals
  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Cestoda
  • Helminthiasis
  • Helminths
  • Humans
  • Macrophage Activation
  • Macrophages
  • Nematoda
  • Trematoda

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