Helminth parasites are a major cause of global infectious diseases, affecting nearly one quarter of the world's population. The common feature of helminth infections is to skew the immune system towards a T-helper 2 (Th2) response that helps to control disease. Dendritic cells (DCs), which are professional antigen-presenting cells, play a critical role for Th2 skewing against helminth parasites. However, the molecular mechanisms by which helminth antigens activate DCs for Th2 polarization have not yet been clearly defined. This review provides a focused update on the major role of DCs for inducing and/or enhancing Th2 immune responses in helminthic infection and will discuss the main signalling-dependent and independent mechanisms by which helminth antigens activate DCs for Th2 skewing.
Keywords: Dendritic cells; helminths; type-2 response.