Parasitic worms and allergies in childhood: Insights from population studies 2008–2013
Article first published online: 10 DEC 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
Volume 25, Issue 3, pages 208–217, May 2014
How to Cite
Parasitic worms and allergies in childhood: Insights from population studies 2008–2013. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2014: 25: 208–217., , , .
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 10 DEC 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 OCT 2013
- anthelmintic treatment;
- immune mechanisms;
- immunoglobulin E cross-reactivity;
- skin prick testing;
The last few decades have seen a marked increase in the global prevalence of allergic diseases particularly among children. Among the factors attributed to this rise has been reduced exposure to pathogens during childhood leading to insufficient maturation of the regulatory arm of developing immune systems. Over the years, a number of epidemiological studies have observed an inverse relationship between parasitic worm (helminth) infections and allergies. The purpose of this review is to highlight insights from population studies conducted among children published between 2008 and 2013 that explore the complex dynamics between helminth infections and allergies. These insights include the effect of anthelmintic treatment on allergic responses, an elucidation of immune mechanisms and an examination of helminth-induced immunoglobulin E cross-reactivity. A better understanding of the relationship between helminths and allergies is imperative as research directions move toward harnessing the therapeutic potential of helminths and their products in the treatment of allergic disorders.