Article: Helminth Lessons in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)
Authors: Tyler Atagozli, David E Elliott, Mirac Nedim Ince
Journal: Biomedicines. 2023 Apr 18;11(4):1200
Helminths are multicellular invertebrates that colonize the gut of many vertebrate animals including humans. This colonization can result in pathology, which requires treatment. It can also lead to a commensal and possibly even a symbiotic relationship where the helminth and the host benefit from each other’s presence. Epidemiological data have linked helminth exposure to protection from immune disorders that include a wide range of diseases, such as allergies, autoimmune illnesses, and idiopathic inflammatory disorders of the gut, which are grouped as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Treatment of moderate to severe IBD involves the use of immune modulators and biologics, which can cause life-threatening complications. In this setting, their safety profile makes helminths or helminth products attractive as novel therapeutic approaches to treat IBD or other immune disorders. Helminths stimulate T helper-2 (Th2) and immune regulatory pathways, which are targeted in IBD treatment. Epidemiological explorations, basic science studies, and clinical research on helminths can lead to the development of safe, potent, and novel therapeutic approaches to prevent or treat IBD in addition to other immune disorders.
Link to journal online: https://www.mdpi.com/2227-9059/11/4/1200