Fasciola hepatica is a trematode that affects human and domestic ruminant health, causing significant economic losses in cattle estimated at US$2000 millon per year. Juvenile parasites migrating through the host tissues, as well as adults settle in the biliary ducts, are in contact with different cells from the immune system. Despite those interactions, the persistence of the parasite in the host for many years provides evidence of its ability to prevent or downmodulate the inflammatory response in the infection site. Different strategies have been developed by the parasite to prevent potential damage being induced by the immune response, thus allowing some parasites to reach the adult stage in a safe place such as the biliary ducts. In this review we discuss how excretory-secretory products (ESP) from F. hepatica can affect the functionality of pivotal immune cells, such as eosinophils and macrophages by inducing selective apoptosis pathways and alternative activation of macrophages. Furhermore, the modulatory effects of ESP on dendritic cell activation and lymphocyte proliferation is reviewed as a strategy to facilitate F. hepatica evasion of both innate and adaptive immunity.
Keywords: Fasciola hepatica, innate immunity, eosinophils, macrophages, dendritic cells, evasion mechanisms
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