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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2013, Article ID 329438, 11 pages
Review Article

Helminths: Immunoregulation and Inflammatory Diseases—Which Side Are Trichinella spp. and Toxocara spp. on?

1Centre for Infectious Disease Control Netherlands, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
2Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy (INEP), University of Belgrade, Banatska 31b, 11080 Belgrade, Serbia

Received 30 September 2012; Accepted 1 December 2012

Academic Editor: Fabrizio Bruschi

Copyright © 2013 Carmen Aranzamendi 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.


Macropathogens, such as multicellular helminths, are considered masters of immunoregulation due to their ability to escape host defense and establish chronic infections. Molecular crosstalk between the host and the parasite starts immediately after their encounter, which influences the course and development of both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune response. Helminths can modulate dendritic cells (DCs) function and induce immunosuppression which is mediated by a regulatory network that includes regulatory T (Treg) cells, regulatory B (Breg) cells, and alternatively activated macrophages (AAMs). In this way, helminths suppress and control both parasite-specific and unrelated immunopathology in the host such as Th1-mediated autoimmune and Th2-mediated allergic diseases. However, certain helminths favour the development or exacerbation of allergic responses. In this paper, the cell types that play an essential role in helminth-induced immunoregulation, the consequences for inflammatory diseases, and the contrasting effects of Toxocara and Trichinella infection on allergic manifestations are discussed.