A study of monkeys has suggested that chronic diarrhoea could be treated using parasitic worms.
Inflammatory bowel diseases are often fuelled by a wrongly targeted response by the immune system to gut bacteria. These diseases are more common in developed countries and scientists suggest this is because people in developing countries have more exposure to parasitic worm infections and therefore have a natural protection that has evolved as people and worms learnt to co-exist.
It appears our immune systems came to rely on parasitic worm infections as part of the way our body defended itself
Now researchers are looking at how the worms’ effects can be harnessed to treat conditions ranging from multiple sclerosis to allergies and the results are promising.