In August, 2017, researchers gave TSO (porcine whip worm, Trichuris suis ova), to a man with psoriasis, who was otherwise healthy. They then examined the effects of the helminth via colonoscopy and blood work, discovering that there were profound immunological changes in the area where the TSO live, limited changes in the other parts of the intestine. They also noted that the TSO did seem to colonize and mature enough to produce some eggs…and “Notably, the volunteer experiences a substantial improvement in psoriasis during the course of TSO treatment.”[i]
Dr. William Parker, at Duke University Medical School, and one of the leading researchers in the field of helminths and immunology, wrote a subsequent letter to the editor[ii], also published in the same journal, Immunology Letters, commenting on this study and he makes several excellent points that are worth sharing with you.
Dr. Parker concludes with pointing out that there are tremendous parallels between the current prevailing fear of helminths as the prior fear of bacteria: “…we learned that bacterial symbionts are not all pathogens out to kill us. History is in the throes of repeating itself as we learn the same lesson with our larger intestinal symbionts.”
I really hope so. We inflamed people of the industrialized world need another medical revolution and we need it now.
[i] Williams, AR, Dige,A, Rasmussen, TK, Hvas,CL, Dahlerup, JF, Iversen,L, Stensvoid,CR, Agnholt, J, Nejsum, P. Immune responses and parasitological observations induced during probiotic medicinal Trichuris suis ova in a healthy volunteer. Immunology Letters. 2017 Aug;188:32-37.
[ii] Parker, W. Not infection with parasitic worms, but rather colonization with therapeutic helminths. [Letter to the Editor]. Immunology Letters. 2017. 192:104-105.