Modulation of the Host Immune Response by Schistosome Egg-Secreted Proteins Is a Critical Avenue of Host–Parasite Communication

Jack P. Carson, Geoffrey N. Gobert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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During a schistosome infection, the interactions that occur between the mammalian host and the parasite change rapidly once egg laying begins. Both juvenile and adult schistosomes adapt to indefinitely avoid the host immune system. In contrast, the survival of eggs relies on quickly traversing from the host. Following the commencement of egg laying, the host immune response undergoes a shift from a type 1 helper (Th1) inflammatory response to a type 2 helper (Th2) granulomatous response. This change is driven by immunomodulatory proteins within the egg excretory/secretory products (ESPs), which interact with host cells and alter their behaviour to promote egg translocation. However, in parallel, these ESPs also provoke the development of chronic schistosomiasis pathology. Recent studies using high-throughput proteomics have begun to characterise the components of schistosome egg ESPs, particularly those of Schistosoma mansoni, S. japonicum and S. haematobium. Future application of this knowledge may lead to the identification of proteins with novel immunomodulatory activity or pathological importance. However, efforts in this area are limited by a lack of in situ or in vivo functional characterisation of these proteins. This review will highlight the current knowledge of the content and demonstrated functions of schistosome egg ESPs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number863
Number of pages8
Issue number7
Early online date08 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 08 Jul 2021


  • Schistosoma mansoni
  • Schistosoma japonicum
  • Schistosoma haematobium
  • schistosome
  • egg
  • excretory/secretory


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