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Int J Parasitol. 1996 Aug-Sep;26(8-9):801-11.

Prospects for the immunological control of ruminant gastrointestinal nematodes: natural immunity, can it be harnessed?

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Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush, Roslin, Midlothian, U.K.


Current understanding of the mucosal immune response to nematode parasites is briefly reviewed with emphasis on the role of the cytokines interleukins-4 and -12 and gamma interferon (IFN gamma) in the development of T-helper responses in rodents. Data from laboratory animals and ruminants indicate that the events associated with a T-helper 2 (Th2) cell response, notably IgE synthesis, eosinophilia and mucosal mastocytosis are protective. Evidence that effector mechanisms may vary for different parasite species is considered. Current gaps in understanding such as the location in the gut and mechanism of antigen processing and presentation as well as the relative contribution of non-immunological effector responses, such as gut motility and mucus secretion, to worm expulsion are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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