, Volume 52, Issue 1-2, pp 111-119

Trichinella spiralis: shaping the immune response

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The co-evolution of a wide range of helminth parasites and vertebrates represented a constant pressure on the host’s immune system and a selective force for shaping the immune response. Modulation of the immune system by parasites is accomplished partly by dendritic cells. When exposed to helminth parasites or their products, dendritic cells do not become classically mature and are potent inducers of Th2 and regulatory responses. Treating animals with helminths (eggs, larvae, extracts) causes dampening or in some cases prevention of allergic or autoimmune diseases. Trichinella spiralis (T. spiralis) possess a capacity to retune the immune cell repertoire, acting as a moderator of the host response not only to itself but also to third party antigens. In this review, we will focus on the ability of T. spiralis-stimulated dendritic cells to polarize the immune response toward Th2 and regulatory mode in vitro and in vivo and also on the capacity of this parasite to modulate autoimmune disease—such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.