Interactions between macrophages and helminths

Gillian Coakley, Nicola Laraine Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Macrophages, the major population of tissue-resident mononuclear phagocytes, contribute significantly to the immune response during helminth infection. Alternatively activated macrophages (AAM) are induced early in the anti-helminth response following tissue insult and parasite recognition, amplifying the early type 2 immune cascade initiated by epithelial cells and ILC2s, and subsequently driving parasite expulsion. AAM also contribute to functional alterations in tissues infiltrated with helminth larvae, mediating both tissue repair and inflammation. Their activation is amplified and occurs more rapidly following reinfection, where they can play a dual role in trapping tissue migratory larvae and preventing or resolving the associated inflammation and damage. In this review, we will address both the known and emerging roles of tissue macrophages during helminth infection, in addition to considering both outstanding research questions and new therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12717
Number of pages13
JournalParasite Immunology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Ascaris spp
  • cell
  • disease
  • Granuloma
  • Heligmosomoides polygyrus
  • macrophage
  • Nippostrongylus brasiliensis
  • parasite
  • Schistosoma spp

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