Immune-mediated regulation of chronic intestinal nematode infection

Immunol Rev. 2004 Oct:201:75-88. doi: 10.1111/j.0105-2896.2004.00193.x.


Gastrointestinal nematode infection is extremely prevalent worldwide in humans and animals. Infection levels vary between individuals in infected populations and exhibit a negative binomial distribution, and some individuals appear to be predisposed to certain infection levels. Moreover, infection tends to be chronic, despite evidence for the acquisition of some degree of acquired immunity. The host is subject to constant and repeated antigenic challenge, and individuals vary in the response they make. While a considerable amount of information is emerging on the immunoregulatory mechanisms operating during acute nematode infection from a variety of laboratory model systems, relatively little work has been carried out on the immune mechanisms underlying chronic infection. This review details some of the work that has addressed this important facet of gut nematode infection, highlighting studies from model systems that give insight into the induction of nonprotective immunity, while at the same time avoiding the induction of host-damaging pathology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Nude
  • Nematode Infections / immunology*
  • Nematode Infections / parasitology
  • Nematode Infections / physiopathology*
  • Strongylida / immunology
  • Strongylida Infections / immunology
  • Strongylida Infections / parasitology
  • Strongylida Infections / physiopathology
  • Trichuriasis / immunology
  • Trichuriasis / parasitology
  • Trichuriasis / physiopathology
  • Trichuris / immunology