In schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease caused by helminths, the parasite eggs induce a T helper 2 cell (T(H)2) response in the host. Here, the specific role of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) in initiation and polarization of the egg-specific T cell responses was examined. We demonstrate that immature DCs (iDCs) pulsed with schistosome soluble egg antigens (SEA) do not show an increase in expression of co-stimulatory molecules or cytokines, indicating that no conventional maturation was induced. The ability of SEA to affect the Toll-like receptor (TLR) induced maturation of iDCs was examined by copulsing the DCs with SEA and TLR-ligands. SEA suppressed both the maturation of iDCs induced by poly-I:C and LPS, as indicated by a decrease in co-stimulatory molecule expression and production of IL-12, IL-6 and TNF-alpha. In addition, SEA suppressed T(H)1 responses induced by the poly-I:C-pulsed DCs, and skewed the LPS-induced mixed response towards a T(H)2 response. Immature DCs rapidly internalized SEA through the C-type lectins DC-SIGN, MGL and the mannose receptor and the antigens were targeted to MHC class II-positive lysosomal compartments. The internalization of SEA by multiple C-type lectins may be important to regulate the response of the iDCs to TLR-induced signals.