Parasites are not always bad: their role in reducing allergic diseases

I have always been wondering why so many European people have allergies. And the bad thing is that I also got kind of allergy in 2014, and since then every year from March to June.

Probably thanks to the higher sanitation here intestinal helminths are eliminated. However, this works like a double-sword: on one hand, people look “healthier”, on the other hand, your immune system lacks proper “training”. Indeed, the eradication of intestinal helminths from industrialized countries has been proposed to contribute to the increased incidence of immune-mediated disorders apparent. The fact is that parasites, like human, want to live longer. To assure this, they have evolved potent mechanisms to modulate host immune response, including the secretion of anti-inflammatory products and through impacting the composition of the gut microbiota.

In a recent study, Zaiss et al explored the possibility of intestinal helminths in modulating allergic inflammation together with intestinal bacteria. In addition, they found that helminth infection in mice alters regulatory T cell function in a GPR41-dependent manner.


So, take it easy with helminths. Actually nowdays helminthic therapy does exists as an experimental approach for asthma, allergies, inflammation and autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Here are some general Q&As about helminthic therapy nowdays.


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