Parasite Survival and Immune Responses
Location: Outside U.S.
Date: Spring 2013
How do parasites survive inside their hosts? Aren't they affected by the host's immune responses? Moreover, what mechanisms do they employ to survive the host's internal environment?
Thanks for the question. Parasites can survive inside their host by evading the immune response of the host. Some parasites have proteins on their cell surfaces which are not recognized by the host. In these situations, the parasite can live in the host for some time without any detection by the host's immune system. In some situations, the parasites actually alter the cells of the host so that there is no detection.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have more questions.
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Update: November 2011