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Parasit Vectors. 2019 Jun 15;12(1):303. doi: 10.1186/s13071-019-3550-4.

Investigating immune responses to parasites using transgenesis.

Author information

1
Centre for Animal Biotechnology, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, 3010, Australia. mebvet2002@gmail.com.
2
Centre for Animal Biotechnology, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, 3010, Australia.
3
College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, 3086, Australia.

Abstract

Parasites comprise diverse and complex organisms, which substantially impact human and animal health. Most parasites have complex life-cycles, and by virtue of co-evolution have developed multifaceted, often life-cycle stage-specific relationships with the immune system of their hosts. The complexity in the biology of many parasites often limits our knowledge of parasite-specific immune responses, to in vitro studies only. The relatively recent development of methods to stably manipulate the genetic make-up of many parasites has allowed a better understanding of host-parasite interactions, particularly in vivo. In this regard, the use of transgenic parasites can facilitate the study of immunomodulatory mechanisms under in vivo conditions. Therefore, in this review, we specifically highlighted the current developments in the use of transgenic parasites to unravel the host's immune response to different life-cycle stages of some key parasite species such as Leishmania, Schistosoma, Toxoplasma, Plasmodium and Trypanosome and to some degree, the use of transgenic nematode parasites is also briefly discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Immune response; In vivo; Parasites; Transgenesis

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