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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 428593, 9 pages
Review Article

Immunity against Helminths: Interactions with the Host and the Intercurrent Infections

UMR ENVN/INRA 1300 Bioagression, Épidémiologie et Analyse de Risques, Atlanpole-La Chantrerie, Route de Gachet, BP40706, 44307 Nantes, France

Received 28 July 2009; Accepted 25 November 2009

Academic Editor: Luis I. Terrazas

Copyright © 2010 Emmanuelle Moreau and Alain Chauvin. 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.


Helminth parasites are of considerable medical and economic importance. Studies of the immune response against helminths are of great interest in understanding interactions between the host immune system and parasites. Effector immune mechanisms against tissue-dwelling helminths and helminths localized in the lumen of organs, and their regulation, are reviewed. Helminth infections are characterized by an association of Th2-like and Treg responses. Worms are able to persist in the host and are mainly responsible for chronic infection despite a strong immune response developed by the parasitized host. Two types of protection against the parasite, namely, premune and partial immunities, have been described. Immune responses against helminths can also participate in pathogenesis. Th2/Treg-like immunomodulation allows the survival of both host and parasite by controlling immunopathologic disorders and parasite persistence. Consequences of the modified Th2-like responses on co-infection, vaccination, and inflammatory diseases are discussed.