Parasites: Worms not ready for the treatment of intestinal diseases?
With intestinal problems, a worming treatment can sometimes work wonders. However, experts do not recommend self-treatment. Especially since the parasites are not always suitable as a therapeutic agent and are even harmful in some diseases.
Worms can help with autoimmune diseases
If the intestines go crazy, a worming treatment can sometimes work wonders. Comparative studies show that worms can help people with autoimmune diseases. In inflammatory colon cancer, they do more harm than good. This was the finding of researchers from the Institute for Medical Microbiology of the Medical Faculty of the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) at the University Hospital Essen (UK Essen). Their results have now been published in the specialist journal "PLoS Pathogens".
Less problems with inflammatory bowel disease
Those who have tapeworms, roundworms or roundworms have fewer problems with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) than non-infected people, according to a UDE statement.
In addition, an experiment by scientists from the University School of Medicine in New York has shown that a worm egg drink can help against chronic intestinal ulcerative colitis.
However, the experts advised those affected not to attempt to do so themselves.
Parasites can promote tumor growth
According to the UDE, it has been shown in practice that the animals are only moderately suitable as therapeutic agents anyway. Even more: in inflammatory colon cancer, the parasites could even promote tumor growth.
Infection immunologists at the UK Essen have now been able to substantiate this suspicion in a study on mice. If the mice swallowed the parasites (helminths), the inflammation did not subside.
On the contrary: the parasite infestation activated the immune cells, the inflammation increased and with it the tumor growth.
Prof. Dr. Astrid Westendorf from the Institute of Medical Microbiology: "That is why we first have to examine how helminths affect the immune system before they can be used in therapy." (Ad)