Parasite-driven dysfunctional adaptive immunity represents an emerging hypothesis to explain the chronic or
persistent nature of parasitic infections, as well as the observation that repeated exposure to most parasitic organisms fails
to engender sterilizing immunity. This review discusses recent examples from clinical studies and experimental models of
parasitic infection that substantiate the role for immune dysfunction in the inefficient generation and maintenance of
potent anti-parasitic immunity. Better understanding of the complex interplay between parasites, host adaptive immunity,
and relevant negative regulatory circuits will inform efforts to enhance resistance to chronic parasitic infections through
vaccination or immunotherapy.
Keywords: B cell, chronic infection, exhaustion, helminth, T cell, parasite, protozoan.
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