Immunomodulation by Parasitic Nematodes
Many parasitic nematodes are able to modulate host’s immune reactions inducing the presence of an anti-inflammatory environment, which enables them to survive and to reproduce in immune-competent hosts. These immune-modulatory effects are due to the induction of regulatory T-cells, of regulatory monocytes, and of macrophages and are accompanied by the stimulation of an increased production of reliable amounts of the anti-inflammatory cytokine-IL 10. Therefore such worms are considered as potential biologics for (future) treatment of inflammatory disorders in humans and animals. Actually patients, that suffer from autoimmune diseases (e.g., Morbus Crohn), showed a strong reduction of intestinal inflammation when ingesting larva-containing eggs of Trichuris suis. The larvae of this nematode hatch from the egg in human intestines, but do not reach fertility (adult stage).