Parasite-Mediated Immune Modulation During the Development of Human Cystic Echinococcosis
Pp. 69-91 (23)
Elisabetta Profumo, Alessandra Ludovisi, Brigitta Buttari, Maria Angeles Gomez Morales and Rachele Riganò
Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is a neglected zoonosis caused by the larval stage
of the cestode Echinococcus granulosus. It represents one of the major health priorities
in developing countries and its global prevalence is about three million. E. granulous
modulates anti-parasite immunity and persists in infected humans despite the
occurrence of detectable parasite-specific humoral and cellular responses. In particular,
the up-regulation of the Th2-type response and of anti-inflammatory cytokines
production is involved in the chronicity of the infection and in the inhibition of host
protective mechanisms. In this chapter, we underline findings about the human immune
response during the development of CE and new insights regarding to the ability of E.
granulosus to directly modulate and even to exploit the host’s immune system. New
knowledge into the host immune response to the parasite will increase our
understanding of this parasitic infection and will give the opportunity to design new
preventive or therapeutic strategies.
Cystic echinococcosis, host-parasite interaction, immune system,
antigen, T helper response.
Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-mediated Disease, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161, Rome, Italy.