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Hookworm: A Cure (Not Cause) For Your Allergy!

ancylostoma duodenale

It’s a common fear that unpleasant or dangerous side effects are occurred from worms. But, did you ever think of curing your asthma by infecting your own body by a worm?! You may not have dreamt of it, am sure. But, a team of British scientists is investigating whether a tiny tropical hookworm could provide a cure for the asthma and hay fever.

And to observe the effects, the scientists used their own bodies as their guinea pigs. They have committed the ultimate act of bravery by infecting themselves with the parasite.

Does the worm, Ancylostoma duodenale – would cause any unpleasant or dangerous side effects? The experts committed this act to probe into it.

Each scientist had to stick some of the tiny hookworm larvae on to their skin with a plaster and wait for the larvae to wriggle through the skin into the lungs, through the bloodstream and into the intestine, where they would produce eggs. The eggs are excreted, but once the adult hookworms are in the gut they start to suck blood from the walls of the intestine. The theory is that this infection triggers an immune response which helps to ‘dampen down’ the over-reaction of the rest of the system, which is why patients with allergies such as asthma develop symptoms.

Via: The Guardian