Caister Academic Press

Subversion of the Immune Response by Helminths

Michael J. Doenhoff
from: Microbial Subversion of Immunity: Current Topics (Edited by: Peter J. Lachmann and M.B.A. Oldstone). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2006)


Many years ago it was observed that helminth parasites were immunosuppressive and this property was deemed to be an important element in the ability of these organisms to evade host immune responsiveness and thus establish enduring chronic infections. Subsequent studies on anti-helminth immunity played a significant part in increasing our knowledge about the complexity and range of immune effector mechanisms, particularly by helping to distinguish between two sup-populations of T helper cells. Recent research has taken an unexpected turn that stems from observations that these parasites can exert profound modulatory (rather than merely suppressive) influences on host immune responsiveness. Possibilities of using infections of, and factors from these parasites to ameliorate human immunological disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and asthma, and as sources of pharmacologically active agents, are now being actively explored read more ...
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