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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2011;2011:821578. doi: 10.1155/2011/821578. Epub 2011 Dec 15.

Modulation of specific and allergy-related immune responses by helminths.

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Department of Molecular Parasitology, Humboldt University of Berlin, Philippstraße 13, Building 14, 10115 Berlin, Germany.


Helminths are master regulators of host immune responses utilising complex mechanisms to dampen host protective Th2-type responses and favour long-term persistence. Such evasion mechanisms ensure mutual survival of both the parasite and the host. In this paper, we present recent findings on the cells that are targeted by helminths and the molecules and mechanisms that are induced during infection. We discuss the impact of these factors on the host response as well as their effect in preventing the development of aberrant allergic inflammation. We also examine recent findings on helminth-derived molecules that can be used as tools to pinpoint the underlying mechanisms of immune regulation or to determine new anti-inflammatory therapeutics.

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