Jun 5, 2007

Chronic helminth infections induce immunomodulation: consequences and mechanisms

Immunobiology
E van RietMaria Yazdanbakhsh

Abstract

Worldwide, more than a billion people are infected with helminths. These worm infections generally do not lead to mortality, however, they are chronic in nature and can lead to considerable morbidity. Immunologically these infections are interesting; chronic helminth infections are characterized by skewing towards a T helper 2 type response as well as regulatory responses. The regulatory network is associated with chronic helminth infections and is thought to prevent strong immune responses against parasitic worms, allowing their long-term survival and restricting pathology. This regulatory network is thought to also temper responses to non-helminth antigens, like allergens or self-antigens, possibly leading to lower prevalence of allergies and autoimmune diseases in subjects that are chronically infected with helminths. This raises the interesting idea that helminths may bear molecules that have potential therapeutic action against allergies and possibly other inflammatory diseases. However, on the other side of the coin, this would predict that helminth infected subjects might not respond strongly to third party antigens like vaccines. This is an important issue, since most vaccines that are being developed against diseases s...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

CD80 Antigens
Immune Response
Biochemical Pathway
Immune System
CD86 gene
Host-Parasite Interactions
lacto-N-fucopentaose III
T-Lymphocyte
Morbidity Aspects
Filarial worm

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