Understanding the laminated layer of larval Echinococcus II: immunology

Alvaro Díaz, Cecilia Casaravilla, Judith E Allen, Robert B Sim, Ana M Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The laminated layer (LL) is the massive carbohydrate-rich structure that protects Echinococcus larvae, which cause cystic echinococcosis (hydatid disease) and alveolar echinococcosis. Increased understanding of the biochemistry of the LL is allowing a more informed analysis of its immunology. The LL not only protects the parasite against host attack but also shapes the overall immune response against it. Because of its dense glycosylation, it probably contains few T-cell epitopes, being important instead in T-cell independent antibody responses. Crucially, it is decoded in non-inflammatory fashion by innate immunity, surely contributing to the strong immune-regulation observed in Echinococcus infections. Defining the active LL molecular motifs and corresponding host innate receptors is a feasible and promising goal in the field of helminth-derived immune-regulatory molecules.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-273
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Issue number6
Early online date2 Feb 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011


  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Helminth
  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Echinococcosis
  • Echinococcus
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Glycosylation
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Humans
  • Larva
  • Mucins

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