Helminths can protect themselves against rejection inhibiting hostile respiratory allergy symptoms

Allergy. 2006 Apr;61(4):400-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2006.00983.x.


The ability of common environmental allergens to stimulate IgE responses and thus to produce allergic diseases has tended to overshadow the fact that helminthic parasites are possibly the most potent inducers of this immunoglobulin that exists in nature. Although it has been well established that during these infections there is a stimulation of IgE against their own antigens as well as a strong induction of nonspecific TH2/IL-4 polyclonal IgE, similarly to the allergic processes, many authors debate if the presence of these infections correlates inversely or not with the rate prevalence of atopy or respiratory allergy. Interpreting this relationship, we suggest that sometimes the intensive infections of hosts, especially with soil helminths which migrate in the respiratory ways or use there as entrance, can induce the production of some mediators ('helminth(k)ines'), to reduce the possibility of their reactive expulsion from the host. The ability to suppress hostile allergic symptoms despite the simultaneous induction of IgE response and local inflammation maybe is established due to the selective evolution, to assure for the parasites better chances for an effective life and reproduction within their mammalian hosts.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma / prevention & control
  • Helminthiasis / epidemiology
  • Helminthiasis / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Hypersensitivity / prevention & control*
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Interleukin-10 / physiology
  • Prevalence
  • Respiratory Sounds
  • Th2 Cells / immunology


  • Interleukin-10
  • Immunoglobulin E