Nature Reviews Microbiology 8, 814-826 (November 2010) | doi:10.1038/nrmicro2438

Developing vaccines to combat hookworm infection and intestinal schistosomiasis

Peter J. Hotez1, Jeffrey M. Bethony1,2, David J. Diemert1,2, Mark Pearson3 & Alex Loukas3  About the authors


Hookworm infection and schistosomiasis rank among the most important health problems in developing countries. Both cause anaemia and malnutrition, and schistosomiasis also results in substantial intestinal, liver and genitourinary pathology. In sub-Saharan Africa and Brazil, co-infections with the hookworm, Necator americanus, and the intestinal schistosome, Schistosoma mansoni, are common. The development of vaccines for these infections could substantially reduce the global disability associated with these helminthiases. New genomic, proteomic, immunological and X-ray crystallographic data have led to the discovery of several promising candidate vaccine antigens. Here, we describe recent progress in this field and the rationale for vaccine development.

Author affiliations

  1. Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine, George Washington University, Washington DC 20037, and Sabin Vaccine Institute, Washington DC 20037, USA.
  2. Instituto René Rachou, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Belo Horizonte, 30190-002, Brazil.
  3. Queensland Tropical Health Alliance, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD 4878, Australia.

Correspondence to: Peter J. Hotez1 Email:

Published online 15 October 2010