Helminth Induced Immunoregulation and Novel Therapeutic Avenue of Allergy

J Asthma Allergy. 2020 Oct 7;13:439-451. doi: 10.2147/JAA.S273556. eCollection 2020.


Allergic diseases are increasing at an alarming rate worldwide, particularly in developed countries. In contrast, there is a decrease in the prevalence of helminthic infections and other neglected diseases. The hygiene hypothesis elaborates parasitic infection, and allergy-associated diseases have an inverse relationship. Acute helminthic infection and allergic reaction stimulate Type 2 helper cells (Th2) immune response with up-regulation of cytokines IL-4-, IL-5-, and IL-13-mediated IgE and mast cell production, as well as eosinophilia. However, people who chronically suffer from helminthic infections are demarcated through polarized Th2 resulting in alternative macrophage activation and T regulatory response. This regulatory system reduces allergy incidence in individuals that are chronically diseased through helminth. As a result, the excretory-secretory (ES) substance derived from parasites and extracellular vesicular components can be used as a novel therapeutic modality of allergy. Therefore, the aim of this review meticulously explored the link between helminth infection and allergy, and utilization of the helminth secretome for therapeutic immunomodulation.

Keywords: IgE; Treg; allergy; helminth; hygiene hypothesis; immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

This work was not supported by any funding agency.