Parasites: Disease or cure?


Endoparasitic infections are usually regarded as detrimental to the host causing various diseases in humans and animals especially in tropical and sub-tropical countries. In recent years, the incidence of autoimmune and other inflammatory diseases increase in developed and industrial regions. The entry of any infectious disease is challenged by the body immune system through various branch of immunity among which T-helper branches of immunity (Th1 and Th2) play at the fore-front. However, the uncurbed imbalance of Th immune response where a surge in Th1 (IFNγ and TNFα) over Th2 response is implicated to cause various autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. In general, parasitic helminth infection is fought by the body as up-regulation of Th2 branch of immunity by secreting inflammatory cytokines (Interleukins like: IL-4, IL-5, IL-9 & IL-13) thereby executing antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). In recent years, exciting evidences revealed that the uncurbed Th1 surge is brought to balance by administration of parasite or parasite extracts thereby alleviating the clinical manifestation of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. This paper describes works that have been carried out to control various autoimmune and inflammatory disorders using parasite or parasite extracts.

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