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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2016 Aug;32:14-18. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2016.04.004. Epub 2016 Apr 23.

Macrobiota - helminths as active participants and partners of the microbiota in host intestinal homeostasis.

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RBHS Institute for Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases, Center for Immunity and Inflammation, New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, USA. Electronic address:
Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology, Institute of Infection, Immunology and Inflammation, University of Glasgow, Sir Graeme Davies Building, 120 University Place, Glasgow G12 8TA, UK.


Important insights have recently been gained in our understanding of the intricate relationship in the intestinal milieu between the vertebrate host mucosal immune response, commensal bacteria, and helminths. Helminths are metazoan worms (macrobiota) and trigger immune responses that include potent regulatory components capable of controlling harmful inflammation, protecting barrier function and mitigating tissue damage. They can secrete a variety of products that directly affect immune regulatory function but they also have the capacity to influence the composition of microbiota, which can also then impact immune function. Conversely, changes in microbiota can affect susceptibility to helminth infection, indicating that crosstalk between these two disparate groups of endobiota can play an essential role in host intestinal immune function and homeostasis.

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