A group of German researchers from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, found that parasitic worms, or rather worms (or, colloquially, worms) when used correctly can be useful for human health. During the experiments, researchers found that these creatures can contribute to healing from rheumatoid arthritis, provoking a specific immune response.
Rheumatoid arthritis is quite a common disease: according to some estimates, it affects up to 1 percent of all people on Earth. It causes damage to joints (mostly small) and is fraught with the development of other problems such as kidney failure and, according to some studies, heart problems. The disease is autoimmune, meaning its cause is an incorrect functioning of the immune system, in this case, T-helper cells Th1 and Th17. The function of these lymphocytes to enhance adaptive immunity of the person, but arthritis they begin to attack the cartilage.
During their study, researchers artificially provoked arthritis in mice rheumatoid arthritis, and then infect them with the helminth Nippostrongylus brasiliensis species. As it turned out, these parasitic worms has activated the activity of T-helper cells, another subtype is Th2, which not only helped fight the worms, but also started the mechanism of recovery of cartilage and relieve inflammation.
Observing patients with arthritis, the researchers also found that many of them observed the activity of Th2. However, the fact that this activity can be improved by using parasitic worms, could potentially be used in the development of new methods for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Their work, the researchers published in the journal Nature Communications.
Lately round worms appeared in a number of scientific studies, but not as a potential tool to promote health, and as a model organism: in one of research papers with their help have found evidence for the assumption that the taste and smell of food can accelerate the aging process, and the other is experimentally proved that the cell manipulation that does not involve the interference in genes can increase lifespan.Related posts: