Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Granulomatous responses in larval taeniid infections.

Abstract

Granulomas are responses to persistent nonliving bodies or pathogens, centrally featuring specialized macrophage forms called epithelioid and multinucleated giant cells. The larval stages of the cestode parasites of the Taeniidae family (Taenia, Echinococcus) develop for years in fixed tissue sites in mammals. In consequence, they are targets of granulomatous responses. The information on tissue responses to larval taeniids is fragmented among host and parasite species and scattered over many decades. We attempt to draw an integrated picture of these responses in solid tissues. The intensity of inflammation around live parasites spans a spectrum from minimal to high, parasite vitality correlating with low inflammation. The low end of the inflammatory spectrum features collagen capsules proximal to the parasites and moderate distal infiltration. The middle of the spectrum is dominated by classical granulomatous responses, whereas the high end features massive eosinophil invasions. Across the range of parasite species, much observational evidence suggests that eosinophils are highly effective at killing larval taeniids in solid tissues, before and during chronic granulomatous responses. The evidence available also suggests that these parasites are adapted to inhibit host granulomatous responses, in part through the exacerbation of host regulatory mechanisms including regulatory T cells and TGF-β.