Autoimmune theory of adding worm eggs may offer a cure - have you heard about it?

This is the latest about autoimmune cures - adding worm eggs to our intestines via a fruit drink - the eggs hatch out and attach themselves and help to create T cells to help the body cure itself. Latest news bulletin link:

live.wsj.com/video/can-a-pa...

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  • The link situation appears to be broken still - here are further links to the story:

    reuters.com/article/2012/08...

    google.co.uk/search?q=pig+p...

    live.wsj.com/video/can-a-pa...

  • Although the link only looks half alive - I have checked it and it is working!

  • That's quite interesting...how many would be willing to try..hope you're feeling better after the vit c incident xxx

  • Thanks Roobiedoobie - I think if there were any possiblity that it would cure us there would be very few who wouldn't try - and because the worm isn't a naturally occurring human version it apparently eventually dies in the gut - so doesn't leave you with a secondary problem.

    Feel all right today - left food until quite late last night - until the aches and gripes had finally disappeared before eating again. Certainly will be a lot more careful in the future though. A painful lesson to learn, me thinks!! xx

  • Interesting. although I have to say I spent a lot of time grubbing around in the dirt as a child.. and still do.. My immune system has had a lot of stimulus..

  • The theory behind this has been around for a long time and indeed therapeutic hookworm infection has been shown to have some benefit in severe asthma. I don't know of any existing evidence to suggest that it would be of use in coeliac. But it's interesting, certainly.

    For anyone who's interested, it's all to do with two different facets of the immune response (called Th1 and Th2). Parasites often elicit a low-level chronic Th2 response (rather than a super-massive allergic Th2 response as occurs in asthma) which allows the parasite to wall itself off and sit around inside the host happily without really doing anything drastic. Some, perhaps many autoimmune diseases are Th1-linked (although it's not as simple as all that by any means) so their aim is to tip the immune response more towards the former rather than the latter direction.

    Our understanding of the intricacies of the immune system are very very basic and the Th1 vs. Th2 stuff has only been around for 15 years or so- we've got a long way to go but I'm convinced manipulation of the immune system will play a massive role in medicine in the next 50 years.

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