Pulmonary and intestinal immune responses during Schistosoma mansoni infection

Time: To be announced
Where:
To be announced
Keynote Speaker:
Prof Andrew MacDonald

Authors

A S MacDonald1
1 University of Manchester, UK

Discussion

Infection with the parasitic worm Schistosoma mansoni causes considerable global morbidity, affecting over 200 million people, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Following skin penetration, these parasites migrate through the lung vasculature before maturation in the mesenteric vessels, where they reach patency and begin to produce eggs.  Many of these eggs transit from the mesenteric blood vessels, rupturing across the intestinal wall and into the lumen. Remarkably, even though this process causes chronic tissue damage, it does not lead to sepsis in immunocompetent hosts. Thus, these parasites have evolved potent strategies to promote ‘regulated’ mucosal inflammation to ensure host survival in the face of chronic tissue damage. However, pulmonary and intestinal immune responses against schistosomes are currently poorly understood. We have begun to characterise schistosome-induced mucosal responses, focussing on the immune features that dominate in the lungs and intestines at different stages of infection, and interplay between the parasite and the host microbiota.  Our data are beginning to reveal how immunity and tissue repair are regulated in these sites during infection, information that may aid future design of therapies against schistosomiasis, or other mucosal inflammatory diseases.

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British Society for Parasitology (BSP)
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