Systemic impact of intestinal helminth infections

P. K. Mishra, M. Palma, D. Bleich, P. Loke, W. C. Gause

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


In this review, we examine the evidence that intestinal helminths can control harmful inflammatory responses and promote homeostasis by triggering systemic immune responses. Induction of separable components of immunity by helminths, which includes type 2 and immune regulatory responses, can both contribute toward the reduction in harmful type 1 immune responses that drive certain inflammatory diseases. Despite inducing type 2 responses, intestinal helminths may also downregulate harmful type 2 immune responses including allergic responses. We consider the possibility that intestinal helminth infection may indirectly affect inflammation by influencing the composition of the intestinal microbiome. Taken together, the studies reviewed herein suggest that intestinal helminth-induced responses have potent systemic effects on the immune system, raising the possibility that whole parasites or specific molecules produced by these metazoans may be an important resource for the development of future immunotherapies to control inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-762
Number of pages10
JournalMucosal Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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