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Parasite. 2014;21:51. doi: 10.1051/parasite/2014051. Epub 2014 Oct 9.

Immune modulation by helminth parasites of ruminants: implications for vaccine development and host immune competence.

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Disease Control, Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, EH26 OPZ, UK.
Vaccines and Diagnostics, Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, EH26 OPZ, UK.


Parasitic helminths reside in immunologically-exposed extracellular locations within their hosts, yet they are capable of surviving for extended periods. To enable this survival, these parasites have developed complex and multifaceted mechanisms to subvert or suppress host immunity. This review summarises current knowledge of immune modulation by helminth parasites of ruminants and the parasite-derived molecules involved in driving this modulation. Such immunomodulatory molecules have considerable promise as vaccine targets, as neutralisation of their function is predicted to enhance anti-parasite immunity and, as such, current knowledge in this area is presented herein. Furthermore, we summarise current evidence that, as well as affecting parasite-specific immunity, immune modulation by these parasites may also affect the ability of ruminant hosts to control concurrent diseases or mount effective responses to vaccination.

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