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IgE: a Key Antibody in Schistosoma Infection

Although it is present at a low concentration in human serum, IgE antibody plays unparalleled roles in allergy and parasitic infection. It is a marker in Th2 response polarization during the infection of Schistosoma. Relatively abundant circulating IgE antibodies which are induced by cytokines, such as IL-4 and IL-13, bind the Fc-epsilon specific receptors on mast cells, basophils and eosinophils and trigger the degranulation of these cells, thereby increasing vascular permeability and killing the parasites. The protection provided by IgE has been verified in numerous independent and collaborative studies in several sites. The particular pattern of the increase in the production of IgE with age and association between worm specific IgE and resistance to reinfection shed light on the designs of control strategies and searches for novel vaccine candidates.

Author(s): Pu Zhang, Francisca Mutapi

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