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Modulation of a heterologous immune response by the products of ascaris suum

Paterson, J.C. and Garside, P. and Kennedy, M.W. and Lawrence, C. (2002) Modulation of a heterologous immune response by the products of ascaris suum. Infection and Immunity, 70 (11). pp. 6058-6067. ISSN 0019-9567

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Helminth infections are among the most potent stimulators of Th2-type immune responses and have been widely demonstrated to modify responsiveness to both nonparasite antigens and other infectious agents in a nonspecific manner in infected animals. We investigated the immunomodulatory properties of pseudocoelomic body fluid from adult Ascaris suum gastrointestinal helminths (ABF) and its defined allergen (ABA-1) by examining their effects on the immune response to a heterologous antigen, ovalbumin. Our results indicate that ABF has potent immunomodulatory activity and that the effects observed are consistent with skewing towards a Th2-type response rather than induction of anergy. Our findings show that the immunomodulatory activities of ABF are associated with components other than the major constituent and putative allergen, ABA-1. Furthermore, the allergic responses to ABA-1 are not a result of an intrinsic allergenicity of the protein but are more a reflection of the wider induction of a Th2 response by the infection. Importantly, the induction of interleukin-10 by ABF also suggests that T regulatory cells may play a role in immunomodulation of immune responses by parasitic helminths.