Helminths are metazoan organisms many of which have evolved parasitic life styles dependent on sophisticated manipulation of the host environment. Most notably, they down-regulate host immune responses to ensure their own survival, by exporting a range of immuno-modulatory mediators that interact with host cells and tissues. While a number of secreted immunoregulatory parasite proteins have been defined, new work also points to the release of extracellular vesicles, or exosomes, that interact with and manipulate host gene expression. These recent results are discussed in the overall context of how helminths communicate effectively with the host organism.
- Parasite communications