The Trichuris muris system: a paradigm of resistance and susceptibility to intestinal nematode infection

Adv Parasitol. 2004;57:255-307. doi: 10.1016/S0065-308X(04)57004-5.


Gastrointestinal helminths infect over 1 billion people worldwide. Although rarely causing death, such diseases are associated with high levels of morbidity and furthermore bear a large economic burden within areas where infections are endemic. Trichuris muris, a natural intestinal parasite of mice has been extensively utilised as a laboratory model for the study of human whipworm Trichuris trichiura. This has proven to be an invaluable tool in dissecting the different components involved in immunity to trichuris infection. Moreover, it has become a paradigm of cytokine mediated immunity to gastrointestinal nematodes in general. It is well established that resistance and susceptibility to T. muris infection are tightly associated with the generation of a T helper 2 (TH2) or a T helper 1 (TH1) immune response, respectively. This review gives a detailed account of the experimental work which has provided us with this knowledge, and further builds upon this, by focusing upon the most recent developments and important findings from this host-parasite relationship.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Susceptibility*
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / immunology*
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / parasitology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Trichuriasis / immunology*
  • Trichuriasis / parasitology
  • Trichuris / immunology
  • Trichuris / pathogenicity*
  • Trichuris / physiology