The yin and yang of human soil-transmitted helminth infections

Loukas, Alex, Maizels, Rick M., and Hotez, Peter J. (2021) The yin and yang of human soil-transmitted helminth infections. International Journal for Parasitology, 51 (13-14). pp. 1243-1253.

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The major soil-transmitted helminths that infect humans are the roundworms, whipworms and hookworms. Soil-transmitted helminth infections rank among the most important neglected tropical diseases in terms of morbidity, and almost one billion people are still infected with at least one species. While anthelmintic drugs are available, they do not offer long term protection against reinfection, precipitating the need for vaccines that provide long-term immunologic defense. Vaccine discovery and development is in advanced clinical development for hookworm infection, with a bivalent human hookworm vaccine in clinical trials in Brazil and Africa, but is in its infancy for both roundworm (ascariasis) and whipworm (trichuriasis) infections. One of the greatest hurdles to developing soil-transmitted helminth vaccines is the potent immunoregulatory properties of these helminths, creating a barrier to the induction of meaningful long-term protective immunity. While challenging for vaccinologists, this phenomenon presents unique opportunities to develop an entirely new class of anti-inflammatory drugs that capitalise on these immunomodulatory strategies. Epidemiologic studies and clinical trials employing experimental soil-transmitted helminth challenge models, when coupled with findings from animal models, show that at least some soil-transmitted helminth-derived molecules can protect against the onset of autoimmune, allergic and metabolic disorders, and several natural products with the desired bioactivity have been isolated and tested in pre-clinical settings. The yin and yang of soil-transmitted helminth infections reflect both the urgency for effective vaccines and the potential for new immunoregulatory molecules from parasite products. (c) 2021 Australian Society for Parasitology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item ID: 72149
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0020-7519
Keywords: Soil-transmitted helminth, Hookworm, Whipworm, Ascaris, Vaccine, Immunomodulation, Inflammation
Copyright Information: © 2021 Australian Society for Parasitology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship (1117504), NHMRC program grant (1132975)
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 09:36
Downloads: Total: 2
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