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Program in Molecular Medicine

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Immunoprophylaxis and Therapy | Parasitic Diseases | Parasitology


Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) collectively infect one fourth of all human beings, and the majority of livestock in the developing world. These gastrointestinal nematodes are the most important parasites on earth with regard to their prevalence in humans and livestock. Current anthelmintic drugs are losing their efficacies due to increasing drug resistance, particularly in STHs of livestock and drug treatment is often followed by rapid reinfection due to failure of the immune system to develop a protective response. Vaccines against STHs offer what drugs cannot accomplish alone. Because such vaccines would have to be produced on such a large scale, and be cost effective, recombinant subunit vaccines that include a minimum number of proteins produced in relatively simple and inexpensive expression systems are required. Here, we summarize all of the previous studies pertaining to recombinant subunit vaccines for STHs of humans and livestock with the goal of both informing the public of just how critical these parasites are, and to help guide future developments. We also discuss several key areas of vaccine development, which we believe to be critical for developing more potent recombinant subunit vaccines with broad-spectrum protection.


adjuvants, anthelmintics, protective immunity, soil-transmitted helminths, vaccines

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COPYRIGHT: © Cambridge University Press 2017. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Parasitology. 2017 Dec;144(14):1845-1870. doi: 10.1017/S003118201700138X. Epub 2017 Aug 3. Link to article on publisher's site

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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