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Semin Immunopathol. 2012 Nov;34(6):863-71. doi: 10.1007/s00281-012-0354-4. Epub 2012 Nov 9.

Th2 responses in schistosomiasis.

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Division of Immunobiology, Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.


Schistosomiasis is caused by infection with parasitic flatworms of the genus Schistosoma. It is characterized by the development of strong CD4(+) T cell and B cell responses that, during primary infection, fail to eliminate the parasites, but in collaboration with cells of the innate immune system allow survival in the face of ongoing tissue damage caused by the lodging of parasite eggs in the liver and the passage of eggs across the intestinal epithelium. Mounting a tightly controlled Th2 response is key to this outcome, and while this type of response is a risk factor for the development of fibrosis, it also underpins the development of resistance to further infection; as such, understanding how Th2 responses are induced and regulated in schistosomiasis remains a critical area of research.

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