For parasites of humans and animals that rely on vectors or on sexual contact for transmission, it is particularly important that infection does not to terminate before the occurrence of the crucial event that completes its lifecycle (e.g. another mosquito bite). For chronic infection to occur, it is essential that the parasite avoids clearance by the host immune system. Much progress has been made in elucidating the immunological interactions and the molecular mechanisms involved in the process of immune evasion. Mathematical models have also been invaluable in understanding these processes, particularly in the generation of new ideas about a complex form of immune evasion known as antigenic variation whereby a major target of the host immune response is varied during the course of a single infection to avoid recognition.