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Video: Parasitic Worms To Cope With Asthma
Parasitic worms to cope with asthma
The effect of the protein synthesized by hookworms has been studied.
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Hookworms are worms that parasitize the intestines. Until recently, it was believed that these parasites bring only harm to humans, causing hookworm infection. Recent studies, however, indicate that a parasitic infection may be beneficial for those with autoimmune diseases such as asthma.
Previously, researchers found that a decrease in the incidence of parasitic infections in developing countries was associated with an increase in the incidence of autoimmune diseases in residents of these countries. Scientists suggested that re-infection with hookworms would help to cope with such diseases. The results of clinical studies support this theory - it helped to achieve improvement in patients with celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
Read more: Parasitic worms affect female fertility
Aaron Blackwell and other researchers from the University of California followed the Bolivian Tsimane women for nine years. During her life, each representative of the tribe gives birth to an average of 9 children.
Now the researchers have found out that the positive effect is associated with one of the proteins synthesized in the body of the hookworm. This means that in the future it will be possible to create a drug based on this protein, and not infect patients with parasitic worms.
Severine Navarro and her colleagues at James Cook University have shown that this protein is AIP-2. The introduction of it to mice suffering from asthma, almost completely relieved the rodents of the symptoms of the disease. The protein has also been shown to be effective in cell cultures of people allergic to dust mites.
The authors warn that not all parasitic worms have positive properties, some bring only harm to the body. They hope that drugs based on proteins synthesized by hookworms will appear in pharmacies and help people with asthma, allergies and other diseases.
Source: BLOODSUCKING HOOKWORMS MAY PROVIDE A TREATMENT FOR ASTHMA
For centuries, doctors and scientists have thought of bloodsucking hookworms as parasites to be eliminated.