Navigation Links
Parasitic worms used to fight bowel disease

Although most of us cringe at the sound of the words "parasitic worms," it's a fact that some of these creatures are actually good for us.

At Michigan State University, researcher Linda Mansfield is part of a national team of scientists investigating the role that parasites can play in treating inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, in humans.

Her research is part of a more than $10 million National Institutes of Health grant supporting the Food and Waterborne Diseases Integrated Research Network of laboratories launched by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Some researchers argue that improved hygiene throughout the developed world may be responsible for inflammatory bowel disease, as well as a whole range of autoimmune disorders. According to this "hygiene hypothesis," immune systems require exposure to infections of all sorts early in life in order to develop sufficiently.

Intriguingly, inflammatory bowel disease, which has two forms ?Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis ?is virtually unknown in the developing world, while it is increasing dramatically in developed societies. When people from developing countries move to developed ones, their incidence of the disease tends to increase.

"We know from veterinary medicine that many bacterial and protozoan pathogens, especially those that multiply inside of cells, elicit an immune response in the host that would normally cause inflammation, but that worm parasites mount an anti-inflammatory defense that modulates it," said Mansfield, a professor of large animal clinical sciences. "The greater the immune response, the greater the anti-inflammatory effect.

"It's possible that the human immune system developed in a way that is dependent on parasitic worms to regulate immune responses."

The particular worm that Mansfield and colleagues are studying as a potential treatment is known as the whipworm, or Trichuris suis, which is a parasite that afflicts pigs. Early studies have shown that giving humans a concoction of whipworm eggs and Gatorade is very effective in treating inflammatory bowel disease.

Mansfield and colleagues are using some of the NIH funding to develop an animal model to test the effectiveness of the worms on inflammatory bowel disease and other maladies. Also, she is waiting for word on a new NIH grant that will support efforts to learn how the treatment works.

"The bottom line right now is that we know none of the mechanisms of how this works," she said.

Mansfield, as well as other researchers, also wants to apply this effort to a variety of autoimmune conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Some researchers suggest that all of these conditions can be explained as combinations of the hygiene hypothesis and genetics.


'"/>

Source:Michigan State University


Related biology news :

1. Parasitic plants sniff out hosts
2. The secret to longevity in tubeworms
3. Fluorescing lab worms signal longer life spans
4. Deep sea buffet for bone-devouring worms
5. Regenerating worms help elucidate stem cell biology
6. Evolutionary conservation of a mechanism of longevity from worms to mammals
7. Carbon nanotube absorption measured in worms, cancer cells
8. Learning to fight an adversary that wont stay down
9. Antibiotic might fight HIV-induced neurological problems
10. NYU study reveals how brains immune system fights viral encephalitis
11. Molecular models advance the fight against malaria
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/16/2016)... --  EyeLock LLC , a market leader of iris-based ... IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, Texas ... embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris authentication ... with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most proven ... platform uses video technology to deliver a fast and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... India , April 28, 2016 ... Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, ... services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... services, but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... The new GEZE SecuLogic access ... "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It can ... door interface with integration authorization management system, and thus ... minimal dimensions of the access control and the optimum ... offer considerable freedom of design with regard to the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has ... Association to serve as their official health care ... Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, ... coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. "We ... Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality services ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge ... envision new ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, ... Art (MoMA) in New York City ... 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos ... Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA ... Technical Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a ... STACS DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to identifying, ... community, has closed its Series A funding round, according ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis Fund ... to meet our current goals," stated Matthew Nunez ... to complete validation on the current projects in our ...
Breaking Biology Technology: