Worm infections protect against allergies
Protect worm infections of intestinal worms from allergies?
A worm infection reduces the risk of allergy sufferers considerably, because the intestinal worms outsmart the immune system and make it through the stimulation of regulatory T cells to slow themselves down.
Intestinal worms stimulate regulatory T cells
Certain intestinal worms send signals to the regulatory T-cells, which activate the latter and thus prevent organism rejection of the worm. Because regulatory T cells serve to suppress the activation of the immune system. Actually, this function is necessary for defense reactions to subside again when their function is fulfilled. Without this regulation of the self-tolerance of the immune system, healthy cells would be attacked and destroyed in the course of the defense reaction. The intestinal worms take advantage of this effect to protect themselves from attacking the immune system. Thus, the organism secrets the parasites when the signaling pathway to the regulatory T cells is blocked, British researchers explain their study results published in the current issue of the "Journal of Experimental Medicine" on the subject. "We have discovered a new pathway through which worm parasites can stimulate regulatory T cells," says Rick Maizels of the University of Edinburgh.
Side effects in animal experiments: Worm infection protects against allergic inflammation
In animal experiments, the researchers examined mice infected with the roundworm Heligmosomoides polygyrus and were able to prove that the worms release proteins for communication with the regulatory T cells. Thus, the parasites stimulate the formation of cells to protect themselves. However, the increased secretion of regulatory T cells also has beneficial side effects for the host. The mice in animal experiments were quasi immune to allergic inflammation of the respiratory tract.
Worm infection also reduces the risk of allergies in humans
Even in humans, a significantly reduced risk of allergy in the course of a worm infection can be found that can be explained in the opinion of the researchers with the stimulation of regulatory T cells. For example, children who were once infected with worms, much less likely to suffer from atopic eczema such as atopic dermatitis. On the basis of the current results, it is therefore necessary to determine how the mechanisms and reactions with which the worms stop the immune system's defense reaction work precisely in order to subsequently derive new medicines and treatments for allergies.
Successful hay fever therapy with tapeworm
Already in 2001, the Japanese doctor Koichiro Fujita had made headlines with the news that he had treated his hay fever with the help of 3 tapeworms. Although, because of the length of just under 10 meters, sometimes a piece of the worm rages out of the rectum, but this is simply cut off, the doctor explained. An unimaginable solution for most patients to their allergy problem. However, for some time, a trial in which the patient repeatedly drink a salty solution with pig whip worms. The eggs develop into worms that are not viable in humans and can no longer be detected after around 14 days. To stimulate the regulatory T cells and build a conscience allergy protection, however, contact with the parasites is sufficient. (fp, 28.09.2010)
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