Wolbachia are bacteria present within the tissues of most filarial nematodes. Filarial nematode survival is known to be affected by immune responses generated during filarial nematode infection and immune responses to Wolbachia can be found in different species harbouring filarial nematode infections, including humans. Using the rodent filarial model Litomosoides sigmodontis, we show that pre-exposure to wolbachia surface protein in a Th1 context (but not in a Th2-context) enhances worm survival on subsequent challenge. This study suggests that despite abundant evidence that pro-inflammatory reactions to the endosymbiont have detrimental effects on the both the nematode and mammalian host, they may under some circumstances be beneficial to the nematode.
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