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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 264173, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/264173
Review Article

Schistosome: Its Benefit and Harm in Patients Suffering from Concomitant Diseases

Department of Immunology and Parasitology, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kitakyushu 807-8555, Japan

Received 1 July 2011; Accepted 6 September 2011

Academic Editor: Luis I. Terrazas

Copyright © 2011 Yoshio Osada and Tamotsu Kanazawa. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Schistosomiasis is an important tropical disease affecting approximately 200 million people worldwide. Because of its chronicity and robust immunomodulatory activity, the effects of schistosomes on other diseases, such as allergies, autoimmunity, and infectious diseases, have been studied extensively in both epidemiological and experimental settings. In this paper, we summarize the beneficial and harmful effects of schistosomes. The importance of controlling schistosomiasis is also discussed.