Numerous species of nematodes have evolved to inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of animals and humans, with over a billion of the world's population infected with at least one species. These large multicellular pathogens present a considerable and complex challenge to the host immune system given that individuals are continually exposed to infective stages, as well as the high prevalence in endemic areas. This review summarizes our current understanding of host-parasite interactions, detailing induction of protective immunity, mechanisms of resistance, and resolution of the response. It is clear from studies of well-defined laboratory model systems that these responses are dominated by innate and adaptive type 2 cytokine responses, regulating cellular and soluble effectors that serve to disrupt the niche in which the parasites live by strengthening the physical mucosal barrier and ultimately promoting tissue repair.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Immunology in the medical area