Submitted to: Current Opinions in Gastroenterology
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/2/2003
Publication Date: 1/15/2004
Citation: Shea Donohue, P.T., Urban Jr, J.F. 2004. Gastointestinal parasites and host interactions. Current Opinions in Gastroenterology. 20:3-9 (2004).
Technical Abstract: The spectrum of Th1 to Th2 cytokine profiles forms the basis for host defense against infectious disease; however, the mechanisms responsible for the Th2-mediated immune response to enteric nematode parasites are of particular interest for several reasons. First, intestinal parasites continue to be a major worldwide health issue; second, the low incidence of enteric parasite infection in industrial nations is cited as a factor in the increased prevalence of pro inflammatory-based pathologies such as inflammatory bowel disease; and third, a seemingly paradoxical protection against Th2-mediated allergic reactions is afforded by helminth infection. The nature of host/parasite interactions, identification of the pathways and critical mediators that contribute to host resistance, the factors that modulate susceptibility to infection, and the impact of enteric parasites on intestinal function are a few of the areas of research that hold much promise for development of novel therapeutic interventions. This review will provide a summary of research publications over the last year that have addressed issues of Th2-derived immune responses at mucosal surfaces and the interaction with parasitic infection.