chapter  19
18 Pages

IgE and Its Role in Parasitic Helminth Infection: Implications for Anti-IgE-Based Therapies

ByPhilip J. Cooper, Thomas B. Nutman

This report will detail current knowledge of the role of IgE in mediating immunity to helminth parasites. Because IgE responses to helminth infections differ based on chronicity of infection, the life cycle of the parasite, and the parasite’s location within the host, it is difficult to apply data from one parasite to those of another, particularly in theorizing about the potential effects of anti-IgE therapy. The report will focus, in particular, on schistosomiasis and strongyloidiasis, for which most observational and experimental data have been accumulated to support a protective role for IgE. The latter infection is of particular relevance because of its unusual capacity to replicate within the human host, so-called auto-infection. Although most of the discussion will rely on data from human studies, much of this information is incomplete, and, where appropriate, observations from experimental animal models will be included.