In this paper we discuss several established and potential animal models for human parasitic infection, with a focus oil rodent, pig and primate models and the nematodes Ascaris, Trichuris and Toxocara spp. Firstly we discuss the relevance of choosing a suitable animal host to fit: the particular study hypothesis, and the interaction between mathematical modelling and animal models. Secondly, we review the use of animal models for the study of nutrition-parasite interaction, evaluation of treatment and control strategies, and bacteria-parasite interactions. We show that rodent, pig and primate models are all very useful in parasitological research, and that each model has its limitations. However, based on recent experience with the pig-Ascaris and pig-Trichuris models, a more extensive use of the pig-parasite model is advocated, especially for the study of the interaction between human malnutrition and helminth infection, and congenital helminth infection.