The use of Trichuris suis and other helminth therapies to treat Crohn’s disease
- 962 Downloads
Infections with gastrointestinal (GI) nematodes are prevalent worldwide, despite the fact that anti-helminthic medications are regarded as safe, efficient, and widely available globally. In this review, we highlight the potential therapeutic benefits that may be realized through the clinical use of Trichuris suis and other helminths for Crohn’s disease (CD). Long-lived helminthic parasites are remarkable in their ability to down-regulate host immunity, protecting themselves from elimination, and also minimize severe pathological host changes. This review summarizes what is known about the underlying mechanisms that may account for the observed patterns in humans treated with helminths for CD. The Th2 arm of the immune system is emphasized as a component of primary importance in the association between the host immune system and GI nematode infections. Although GI nematode infections in humans cause significant morbidity and mortality, the existence and nature of protective mechanisms these helminths may confer remain largely unclear.
- Brandtzaeg P (1985) Immunopathology of Crohn’s disease. Ann Gastroenterol Hepatol (Paris) 21:202–220Google Scholar
- Crohn BB, Ginzburg L, Oppenheimer GD (1932) Regional ileitis, a pathological and clinical entity. JAMA 99:1923–1929Google Scholar
- Desowitz M (1981) Harmonious parasites. In New Guinea tapeworms and Jewish grandmothers. Tales of people and parasites. Norton, London, pp 179–205Google Scholar
- Elliott DE, Li J, Blum A, Metwali A, Qadir K, Urban JF Jr, Weinstock JV (2003) Exposure to schistosome eggs protects mice from TNBS-induced colitis. Am J Physiol 284:385–391Google Scholar
- Nguyen GC, Torres EA, Regueiro M, Bromfield G, Bitton A, Stempak J, Dassopoulos T, Schumm P, Gregory FJ, Griffiths AM, Hanauer SB, Hanson J, Harris ML, Kane SV, Orkwis HK, Lahaie R, Oliva-Hemker M, Pare P, Wild GE, Rioux JD, Yang H, Duerr RH, Cho JH, Steinhart AH, Brant SR, Silverberg MS (2006) Inflammatory bowel disease characteristics among African Americans, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic Whites: characterization of a large North American cohort. Am J Gastroenterol 101:1012–1023PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar