Granulocytes: effector cells or immunomodulators in the immune response to helminth infection?


  • Disclosures: None

Rachel A. Lawrence, Royal Veterinary College, Royal College Street, London NW1 0TU, UK (e-mail:


Granulocytes are effector cells in defence against helminth infections. We review the current evidence for the role of granulocytes in protective immunity against different helminth infections and note that for each parasite species the role of granulocytes as effector cells can vary. Emerging evidence also points to granulocytes as immunomodulatory cells able to produce many cytokines, chemokines and modulatory factors which can bias the immune response in a particular direction. Thus, the role of granulocytes in an immunomodulatory context is discussed including the most recent data that points to an important role for basophils under this guise.