Special Issue Article - Journal of Clinical Immunology Research (2020) Volume 0, Issue 0
Immunomodulatory properties of Echinococcus multilocularis: friend or foe?
Alveolar echinococcosis (AE), a very severe zoonotic helminthic disease in humans, is characterized by a chronic and progressively developing hepatic damage caused by the continuously proliferating parasite tissue (metacestode) of Echinococcus multilocularis (E. multilocularis), clinically mimicking a slowly growing and metastasizing liver cancer. Immune tolerance and/or down-regulation of immunity are a marked characteristic increasingly observed when disease develops towards its chronic (late) stage of infection in both humans and in experimentally infected mice. AE is fatal if not treated appropriately, but the current chemotherapy based on benzimidazoles is far from optimal, and novel options for control are needed. Future research should focus on the elucidation of the crucial immunological events that lead to anergy in AE, and focus on provid¬ing a scientific basis for the development of novel and more effective immunotherapeutical options to support cure AE by abrogating anergy, anticipating also that a combination of immuno- and chemotherapy could provide a synergistic therapeutical effect. On the other hand, in order to survive peri-parasitic immune effector mechanisms, the parasite metacestode is covered by an outer laminated layer (LL) that confers protection against host immune responses. Our preliminary results showed that infection with E. multilocularis did have a beneficial effects in mice suffering from experimentally induced colitis, thus parasite metabolites exhibit a high potential for treating non-infectious immune disordersAuthor(s): Junhua Wang