Parasites and asthma

Parasitol Res. 2017 Sep;116(9):2373-2383. doi: 10.1007/s00436-017-5548-1. Epub 2017 Jul 8.


Nowadays, many studies have found low morbidity of asthma in epidemic areas of parasitic diseases, as shown by the hygiene hypothesis. It is obvious that some parasite infections can prevent asthma and studies have been carried out to clarify the mechanism of the preventive effect and search for the future asthmatic therapies. Previous findings have indicated that this mechanism may be related to the immune response switching from Th1 to Th2 and important cells induced by parasites, including the regulatory T cells, regulatory B cells, dendrite cells, and alternatively activated macrophages. Cytokine IL-10 also plays a nonredundant role in protection against allergic airway inflammation in asthma. This review focuses on the relationship between parasites and asthma, and the potential protection mechanism involved.

Keywords: Asthma; Parasite; Prevention; Therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / prevention & control*
  • B-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10
  • Macrophage Activation / immunology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Mice
  • Parasites / immunology*
  • Parasitic Diseases / immunology*
  • Parasitic Diseases / parasitology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology


  • IL10 protein, human
  • Interleukin-10