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Parasite immunomodulation and polymorphisms of the immune system

Rick M Maizels

Author Affiliations

Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution, and Institute of Immunology and Infection Research, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JT, UK

Journal of Biology 2009, 8:62  doi:10.1186/jbiol166

Published: 5 August 2009

Abstract

Parasites are accomplished evaders of host immunity. Their evasion strategies have shaped every facet of the immune system, driving diversity within gene families and immune gene polymorphisms within populations. New studies published recently in BMC Biology and Journal of Experimental Medicine document parasite-associated immunosuppression in natural populations and suggest that host genetic variants favoring resistance to parasites may be detrimental in the absence of infection.