Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 January 2011
Successful metazoan parasitism, among many other factors, requires a supply of nutrients and the removal of waste products. There is a prerequisite for a parasite-defined vasculature. The angiogenic mechanism(s) involved presumably depend on the characteristics of the tissue- and vascular system-dwelling, parasitic helminths. Simplistically, 2 possibilities or a combination of both have been considered in this review. The multifactorial induction of parasitic helminth-associated neovascularization could arise through, either a host-, a parasite- or a host-/parasite-dependent, angiogenic switch. Most studies appear to support the first and third hypotheses, but evidence exists for the intrahepatic cestode Echinococcus multilocularis, the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the intravascular trematode Schistosoma mansoni for the second inference. In contrast, the nematode anti-coagulant protein NAPc2 from adult Ancylostoma caninum is also an anti-angiogenic factor.