Indexed on: 11 Oct '16Published on: 05 Oct '16Published in: Trends in Parasitology
The recent discovery that parasites release extracellular vesicles (EVs) that can transfer a range of effector molecules to host cells has made us re-think our understanding of the host–parasite interface. In this opinion article we consider how recent proteomics and transcriptomics studies, together with ultrastructural observations, suggest that more than one mechanism of EV biogenesis can occur in helminths. We propose that distinct EV subtypes have roles in immune modulation and repair of drug-induced damage, and put forward the case for targeting EV biogenesis pathways to achieve parasite control. In doing so we raise a number of outstanding research questions that must be addressed before this can happen.