European Journal of Therapeutics

Immune Response and its Effects on the Host during Helminthic Infections


Department of Medical Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Near East University, Nicosia, Cyprus


Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Hitit University, Corum, Turkey

Eur J Ther 2020; 26: 6-10
DOI: 10.5152/EurJTher.2019.18078
Read: 948 Downloads: 289 Published: 26 November 2019

Helminths are multicellular organisms that are responsible for chronic infections affecting nearly one-third of the global population. They are experts at immunomodulation and pathologic outcomes are generally observed in patients with immunodeficiencies or with exaggerated levels of antihelminth immune responses. Elimination of helminths is usually mediated by type-2 immune responses (TH2), which is characterized by induction of IgE release, increase in eosinophil and mast cell levels, and elevation in the production levels of TH2 cytokines. However, the triggered mechanisms may also depend on where the parasite is located since tissue invasion, which is considered an immune evasion strategy for parasites, was suggested to result in the activation of more TH1 cells in tissues. During chronic infections, immune response regulatory pathways become more influential such that they cause a reduction in the levels of the peripheral T-cell-mediated responses against parasitic antigens. The resultant immune response is termed as “modified TH2 type response”, and is characterized by enhanced levels of anti-inflammatory cytokine production and regulatory immune cells as well as high IgG4 / IgE ratios. Immunomodulation during chronic helminth infection is not limited to only parasite-specific responses, and it can also influence the efficiency of vaccination, host susceptibility to infections, and allergen or autoantigen responses. This review, will not only discuss anti-helminth immune responses but will also include current literature on the effects of chronic helminth infections on host health as well as their possible use as a treatment strategy against autoimmune, autoinflammatory and allergic diseases. 

How to cite: Gazi U, Taylan Özkan A. Immune Response and its Effects on the Host during Helminth Infections. Eur J Ther 2020; 26(1): 6-10.

EISSN 2564-7040