Parasitic worms can 'treat chronic diarrhoea': study
The researchers now plan a study in humans to look at how pig helminth eggs might help alleviate symptoms of colitis. Professor Graham Rook, of the centre for clinical microbiology at University College London, said a number of research teams were investigating the effects of parasitic worms in various conditions. "This is not part of the hygiene hypothesis (which says exposure to bacteria strengthened the immune system). It's the 'old friends' hypothesis," Rook said. "We co-evolved with these things, so they had to be tolerated. We found ways of suppressing the immune systems, and in some way have come to depend on them," Rook added. He added that the field of research as a whole would be "hugely significant". "With helminths, if you get the dose right, you can probably live with worms and not have symptoms," he added. The study was published in PLOS Pathogens.
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