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The clinical potential of worms and their products in treating inflammatory diseases

Al-Riyammi, L. and Harnett, W. (2009) The clinical potential of worms and their products in treating inflammatory diseases. Current Immunology Reviews, 5 (1). pp. 35-41. ISSN 1573-3955

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Abstract

Helminths are long-lived multicellular organisms that have co-evolved with humans over many thousands of years. The parasites have developed various strategies to evade the host's immune response permitting their long-term survival with minimum pathology caused to the host. Over the past few decades a common trend has been observed linking the high prevalence of helminth infections in lesser-developed countries with lower incidences of autoimmune and allergic diseases. With this in mind many studies have emerged showing the benefits of various helminths and their products in alleviating the inflammatory symptoms of autoimmune and allergic diseases. This review aims to bring together some of the various diseases and the potential treatments that these parasites may naturally harbor.