Interesting article I found that I have not heard anything about before:
"Scientists at Coronado Biosciences are using immunotherapy biologic agents to treat autoimmune diseases, including helminthic therapy, the use of parasitic worms to modulate the immune system. They’ve seen the success the therapy has had on patients suffering from Crohn’s disease, so they’ve started three trials in which they hope to prevent and treat type 1 diabetes using Trichuris suis ova (TSO), or the eggs of a pig whipworm.
We give them in a solution, so it’s essentially a liquid that is a saline solution, and these eggs are microscopic; you can’t see them – they are odorless, tasteless,” Dr. Karin Hehenberger, chief medical officer of Coronado Biosciences, told FoxNews.com.
“You’re resetting the balance so that instead of attacking itself, the immune system is attacking what it’s supposed to attack, which is outside bacteria,” she said.
Dr. Joel Weinstock, professor and director of gastroenterology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, began using parasitic worms on mice with a vast array of medical problems in the 1990s: asthma, type 1 diabetes, MS and inflammatory bowel disease. He noticed the calming effect the parasites had on these animals’ immune systems.
He soon started a round of human trials, using TSO on Crohn’s patients, with successful results. A published study in 2005 reported 23 out of 29 Crohn’s patients went into remission.
The one caveat: The worms can only stay alive in a human host for about two weeks, so the patients would have to take the TSO-based therapy bi-weekly.
The first two studies identify young people and children at risk for type 1 diabetes. For part of the study, scientists are hoping to reset the immune system before the disease can occur. In a separate trial, they will look at children and adults who were recently diagnosed with the disease and try to prevent further destruction, thus reducing the person’s dependency on insulin.
“The good thing about our product TSO is that the human is not the natural host,” Hehenberger said. “It is the pig that is the natural host, so in the human, there’s only a short lifespan, and that’s why these larvae do not develop into full-blown reproductive worms. They cannot produce additional ova, they cannot grow or colonize the intestine.”