Infoscience

Review

To B or not to B: B cells and the Th2-type immune response to helminths

Similar T helper (Th)2-type immune responses are generated against different helminth parasites, but the mechanisms that initiate Th2 immunity, and the specific immune components that mediate protection against these parasites, can vary greatly. B cells are increasingly recognized as important during the Th2-type immune response to helminths, and B cell activation might be a target for effective vaccine development. Antibody production is a function of B cells during helminth infection and understanding how polyclonal and antigen-specific antibodies contribute should provide important insights into how protective immunity develops. In addition, B cells might also contribute to the host response against helminths through antibody-independent functions including, antigen presentation, as well as regulatory and effector activity. In this review, we examine the role of B cells during Th2-type immune response to these multicellular parasites.

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