The Institute of Immunology and Infection Research at University of Edinburgh has published a paper on Helminth (worm) infections and host immune regulation. It looks at countries and areas where helminth parasites are endemic (i.e. many people carry these worms all their lives) and note that in these countries, there is a very low incidence of autoimmune diseases and allergies. This suggests that the helminth parasites may protect against your immune system becoming disregulated.
The paper points out that there is now much interest in investigating helminths as a therapy, in both laboratory models and in human trials. They believe that understanding and exploiting the way these parasites work are likely to highlight new strategies to control both infectious and immunological diseases.
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