Lymphatic filariasis: parallels between the immunology of infection in humans and mice

Parasite Immunol. 2001 Jul;23(7):353-61. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3024.2001.00396.x.


Mouse models of Brugia infection have provided much useful quantitative and qualitative information on the immune response elicited by different life cycle stages of filarial worms. Many parallels exist between the immune response in the mouse and the infected human and in this review we highlight areas of topical interest, including the induction of specific cytokine responses and their role in immunomodulation and protective immunity. These studies have reinforced the concept that different life cycle stages of filarial parasites each have their own mechanism of modulating responses so that potentially inflammatory IFN-gamma responses are downregulated. While the precise mechanisms of protective immunity remain to be defined, studies in the mouse have suggested novel pathways, including a possible role for granulocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Helminth / immunology
  • Brugia malayi* / growth & development
  • Brugia malayi* / immunology
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Elephantiasis, Filarial / immunology*
  • Elephantiasis, Filarial / parasitology
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interleukins / biosynthesis
  • Interleukins / immunology
  • Leukocytes / immunology
  • Mice
  • Wuchereria bancrofti / growth & development
  • Wuchereria bancrofti / immunology


  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukins
  • Interferon-gamma