Although most of our understanding of mast cell- and basophil-mediated responses comes from analysis of immediate hypersensitivity, it is logical to assume that these responses have evolved because they provide protective functions. In fact, some evidence shows that IgE-and mast cell-mediated responses are important for defense against certain types of infection. Much of this evidence comes from studies in mice deficient in IgE, TH2 cytokines, or mast cells.
A major protective function of IgE-initiated immune reactions is the eradication of helminthic parasites. Eosinophil-mediated killing of helminths is an effective defense against these organisms (Fig. 19-11 and see o qdil-5
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