Susceptibility and immunity to helminth parasites

Rick M Maizels, James P Hewitson, Katherine A Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parasitic helminth infection remains a global health problem, whilst the ability of worms to manipulate and dampen the host immune system is attracting interest in the fields of allergy and autoimmunity. Much progress has been made in the last two years in determining the cells and cytokines involved in induction of Type 2 immunity, which is generally protective against helminth infection. Innate cells respond to ‘alarmin’ cytokines (IL-25, IL-33, TSLP) by producing IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13, and this sets the stage for a more potent subsequent adaptive Th2 response. CD4+ Th2 cells then drive a suite of type 2 anti-parasite mechanisms, including class-switched antibodies, activated leukocytes and innate defence molecules; the concerted effects of these multiple pathways disable, degrade and dislodge parasites, leading to their destruction or expulsion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-466
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Immunology
Issue number4
Early online date12 Jul 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012


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