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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6865789, 9 pages
Review Article

TLR Specific Immune Responses against Helminth Infections

1Department of Immunology, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai, India
2International Center for Excellence in Research, National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai, India

Correspondence should be addressed to Ramalingam Bethunaickan

Received 17 July 2017; Revised 21 September 2017; Accepted 3 October 2017; Published 31 October 2017

Academic Editor: José F. Silveira

Copyright © 2017 Sivaprakasam Rajasekaran 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.


Despite marked improvement in the quality of lives across the globe, more than 2 million individuals in socioeconomically disadvantaged environments remain infected by helminth (worm) parasites. Owing to the longevity of the worms and paucity of immunologic controls, these parasites survive for long periods within the bloodstream, lymphatics, and gastrointestinal tract resulting in pathologic conditions such as anemia, cirrhosis, and lymphatic filariasis. Despite infection, an asymptomatic state may be maintained by the host immunoregulatory environment, which involves multiple levels of regulatory cells and cytokines; a breakdown of this regulation is observed in pathological disease. The role of TLR expression and function in relation to intracellular parasites has been documented but limited studies are available for multicellular helminth parasites. In this review, we discuss the unique and shared host effector mechanisms elicited by systemic helminth parasites and their derived products, including the role of TLRs and sphingolipids. Understanding and exploiting the interactions between these parasites and the host regulatory network are likely to highlight new strategies to control both infectious and immunological diseases.