A study of how the body expels parasitic worms has led to a surprising new discovery about the immune system that could help in the treatment of bowel cancer.
Scientists investigating whipworms, parasites that infect one-fifth of the world’s population as well as livestock and domestic animals, have discovered a new way that the body effectively eliminates the parasites.
The University of Manchester research, published in the US journal Science, found the reason why some hosts were able to expel the worms naturally without the need for treatment. “This is a completely new way in which the immune system controls disease and may lead scientists to look at new ideas in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases and even bowel cancer,” said Dr Laura Cliffe in the Faculty of Life Sciences, who carried out the research. “During our investigations we discovered that the immune system does more than what it currently says in the text books – it controls other physiological systems.
Aeron Haworth | alfa
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