Immunopathology and modulation induced by hookworms: From understanding to intervention

Parasite Immunol. 2021 Feb;43(2):e12798. doi: 10.1111/pim.12798. Epub 2020 Oct 27.


Hookworm infection is considered the most prevalent human soil-transmitted helminth infection affecting approximately 500 million people and accounting for 3.2 million disability-adjusted life years lost annually. As with many other neglected tropical diseases, no international surveillance mechanisms that show accurate data on the prevalence of hookworm infection are in place, thus hindering strategies to control parasite transmission. In this review, we unravel the current knowledge in immunopathology and immunoregulation of hookworm infection and present discoveries in drug therapies based on the capability of hookworms to regulate inflammation to treat allergic, inflammatory and metabolic diseases. Additionally, we highlight potential vaccine development and treatments and propose avenues for further inquiry.

Keywords: excretory secretory antigens; hookworm therapy; hookworms; immunopathology; microbiota; vaccination.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Ancylostomatoidea / pathogenicity*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Helminth / immunology
  • Hookworm Infections / immunology*
  • Hookworm Infections / therapy*
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunomodulation
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Soil / parasitology
  • Vaccines


  • Antibodies, Helminth
  • Soil
  • Vaccines