Trinity College and University of Manchester Study Reveals Breakthrough in Understanding Parasitic Worm Infection and Immune Response

by | Apr 11, 2023 | News, Publications | 0 comments

Researchers from Trinity College Dublin and the Lydia Becker Institute at the University of Manchester have studied how the immune system responds to a parasitic filarial nematode worm that infects the pleural cavity, shedding light on how the immune system controls infection with filarial nematodes in body tissues.

The study published in the journal Immunity found that a specific type of T-cell activated by the worms signals to other immune cells called macrophages to transform and expand in a manner that eliminates the infection by a filarial nematode, and that tissue-resident macrophages are required for worm-killing.

The study’s findings may have wide applications in other diseases, including those with enormous clinical relevance in congestive heart failure, pneumonia, cancer, and fibrotic diseases.

Immuno-matrix Branch Lead Professor Judi Allen who supervised the study said:

 “For many years my group has tried to understand what role macrophages play during infection of worms that live in the tissues. The finding that they contribute to worm killing is exciting for me personally and opens up even more questions.” 

Tissue-resident macrophages have important roles in controlling inflammation and repairing damaged tissue, so our model of how T cells and cytokines control their development has wide applications in other diseases.”

The paper entitled ‘ T-helper 2 cells control monocyte to tissue-resident macrophage differentiation during nematode infection pleural cavity’ in the journal ‘Immunity’ can be accessed here