Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune inflammatory disease, with a progressive course, characterized by chronic synovitis that may evolve with deformities and functional disability, and whose early treatment minimizes joint damage. Its etiopathogenesis is not fully elucidated but comprises immunologic responses mediated by T helper cells (Th1). An apparent minor severity of RA in patients from regions with lower income could be associated with a higher prevalence of gut parasites, especially helminths. Strictly, a shift in the immune response toward the predominance of T helper cells (Th2), due to the chronic exposure to helminths, could modulate negatively the inflammation in RA patients, resulting in lower severity/joint injury. The interaction between the immunological responses of parasitic helminths in rheumatoid arthritis patients is the purpose of this paper.
Keywords: Artrite reumatoide; Helminth infections; Immunomodulation; Imunomodulação; Parasitoses intestinais; Rheumatoid arthritis.
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