Jabba The Hutt representing a parasite Jabba The Hutt represents a parasite in Immunology Wars. Jabba is opportunistic and lives off the hard work of others as a crime boss.

Parasitic infections in humans tend to be of two types, either protozoan or helminths. Protazoa are single cells parasites, causing diseases such as malaria or amoebic dysentery, whereas helminths are multicellular worms including tapeworms and flukes. Parasites are a major global health challenge with an estimated 25% of the world's population suffering from some form of parasite infection

The immune response to parasites is complex and varied depending on whether the parasite is intra or extracellular. Intracellular parasites are cleared by an inflammatory type 1 response, similar to that involved in dealing with bacteria or viruses.

Larger, multicellular parasites involve a type 2 response, characterised by type 2 helper T-lymphocytes, but also involving eosinophils, basophils and mast cells. The type 2 response is a host protective response, reducing the number of parasites, either through direct killing or removal from the body whilst limiting inflammation and helping repair tissue damage.

Antibodies may bind to features of multicellular parasites that are required for feeding or reproduction as well as marking the parasite for destruction, a processed called opsonisation.



Soluble Mediators