Parasitic helminths: new weapons against immunological disorders

J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010;2010:743758. doi: 10.1155/2010/743758. Epub 2010 Feb 10.

Abstract

The prevalence of allergic and autoimmune diseases is increasing in developed countries, possibly due to reduced exposure to microorganisms in childhood (hygiene hypothesis). Epidemiological and experimental evidence in support of this hypothesis is accumulating. In this context, parasitic helminths are now important candidates for antiallergic/anti-inflammatory agents. Here we summarize antiallergic/anti-inflammatory effects of helminths together along with our own study of the effects of Schistosoma mansoni on Th17-dependent experimental arthritis. We also discuss possible mechanisms of helminth-induced suppression according to the recent advances of immunology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Experimental / immunology
  • Arthritis, Experimental / prevention & control
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / prevention & control
  • Helminths / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune System Diseases / immunology
  • Immune System Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Parasites / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology