Immune regulation by helminth parasites: Cellular and molecular mechanisms
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Immunology was founded by studying the body's response to infectious microorganisms, and yet microbial prokaryotes only tell half the story of the immune system. Eukaryotic pathogens protozoa, helminths, fungi and ectoparasites - have all been powerful selective forces for immune evolution. Often, as with lethal protozoal parasites, the focus has been on acute infections and the inflammatory responses they evoke. Long-lived parasites such as the helminths, however, are more remarkable for their ability to downregulate host immunity, protecting themselves from elimination and minimizing severe pathology in the host.