For years, studies of the immune response to Giardia lamblia infection focused on the production of IgA by infected hosts and antigenic variation by the parasite to escape destruction by this IgA. A new study by Hanevik and colleagues (C. S. Saghaug, S. Sørnes, D. Peirasmaki, S. Svärd, N. Langeland, and K. Hanevik, Clin Vaccine Immunol 23:11-18, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CVI.00419-15) highlights the emerging role of interleukin-17 (IL-17) in immunity to this parasite. Along with recent studies of Giardia infections of animals, this work shows that IL-17 appears to be essential for the control of these infections and to be a key factor linking cellular and humoral immune responses.
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