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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 821578, 18 pages
Review Article

Modulation of Specific and Allergy-Related Immune Responses by Helminths

Department of Molecular Parasitology, Humboldt University of Berlin, Philippstraße 13, Building 14, 10115 Berlin, Germany

Received 15 July 2011; Accepted 9 September 2011

Academic Editor: Luis I. Terrazas

Copyright © 2011 Emilia Daniłowicz-Luebert et al. 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.


Helminths are master regulators of host immune responses utilising complex mechanisms to dampen host protective Th2-type responses and favour long-term persistence. Such evasion mechanisms ensure mutual survival of both the parasite and the host. In this paper, we present recent findings on the cells that are targeted by helminths and the molecules and mechanisms that are induced during infection. We discuss the impact of these factors on the host response as well as their effect in preventing the development of aberrant allergic inflammation. We also examine recent findings on helminth-derived molecules that can be used as tools to pinpoint the underlying mechanisms of immune regulation or to determine new anti-inflammatory therapeutics.