Parasitic worms used to fight bowel disease

EAST LANSING, Mich. Although most of us cringe at the sound of the words "parasitic worms," it's a fact that some of these creatures are actually good for us.

At Michigan State University, researcher Linda Mansfield is part of a national team of scientists investigating the role that parasites can play in treating inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, in humans.

Her research is part of a more than $10 million National Institutes of Health grant supporting the Food and Waterborne Diseases Integrated Research Network of laboratories launched by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Some researchers argue that improved hygiene throughout the developed world may be responsible for inflammatory bowel disease, as well as a whole range of autoimmune disorders. According to this "hygiene hypothesis," immune systems require exposure to infections of all sorts early in life in order to develop sufficiently.

Intriguingly, inflammatory bowel disease, which has two forms Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis is virtually unknown in the developing world, while it is increasing dramatically in developed societies. When people from developing countries move to developed ones, their incidence of the disease tends to increase.

"We know from veterinary medicine that many bacterial and protozoan pathogens, especially those that multiply inside of cells, elicit an immune response in the host that would normally cause inflammation, but that worm parasites mount an anti-inflammatory defense that modulates it," said Mansfield, a professor of large animal clinical sciences. "The greater the immune response, the greater the anti-inflammatory effect.

"It's possible that the human immune system developed in a way that is dependent on parasitic worms to regulate immune responses."

The particular worm that Mansfield and colleagues are studying as a potential treatment is known as the whipworm,

Contact: Tom Oswald
Michigan State University

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Parasitic plants sniff out hosts
2. Proteins linked to cancer prevention in humans affect aging in worms
3. Starvation response in worms points to common hunger pathway
4. Carbon nanotube absorption measured in worms, cancer cells
5. Plant cells black out when eaten by leafworms
6. Teaching worms good taste: Researcher reveals the cell biology of learning at ASCB meeting
7. Regenerating worms help elucidate stem cell biology
8. Evolutionary conservation of a mechanism of longevity from worms to mammals
9. Deep sea buffet for bone-devouring worms
10. Allergy-busting worms, cold water corals and the science of Irishness
11. Fluorescing lab worms signal longer life spans, reports CU-Boulder team

Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar ... technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business opportunities that ... The Internet of Healthy Things . Long before ... existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, ... moving care from the hospital or doctor,s office into ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), the ... has adopted the Synaptics ® ClearPad ® ... its newest flagship smartphones, the Nexus 5X by LG ... --> --> Synaptics works closely ... collaboration in the joint development of next generation technologies. ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... and GOLETA, California , October 23, ... BIOPAC and SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) announce a mobile plug ... data captured during interactive real-world tasks SensoMotoric ... integration of their established wearable solutions for eye tracking ... gaze behavior captured with SMI Eye Tracking Glasses ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... HILLS, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... as the recipient of the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, ... golf through his or her work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... of the year and one of the premier annual events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: ... from 8–11 November 2015, where ISPE hosted the largest number of attendees in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led ... also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing community. ... members have embraced this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots have ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Twist Bioscience, a company focused on ... Twist Bioscience chief executive officer, will present at ... 1, 2015 at 3:10 p.m. Eastern Time at The Lotte ... --> --> About ... is on Twitter. Sign up to follow our ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: