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Helminthic Therapy (Hookworm, Whipworm)

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What is a Helminth?

A Helminth is a Parasitic Worm.

Helminths (Parasitic Worms) are categorized as either:
Nematodes, also known as Roundworms
or
Flatworms (Platyhelminthes), also known as Flukes or Tapeworms

Background on Helminthic Therapy

An experimental therapy based on the Hygienic Hypothesis which suggests an increase in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) frequency in industrialized nations over the last century. The theory is that since humans evolved with these parasites that they are actually an integral part of how our immune system functions. A more hygenic industrialized society is one theory to explain the reason for the lower frequency of auto-immune diseases and allergies in under-developed countries.

How Does it Work?

Helminthic Therapy, also called Nematode Therapy or TSO (Trichuris suis Ova) Therapy, consists of deliberate inoculation / infection with a helminth (hookworm or whipworm) or with their eggs. The three types used are Whipworm (Trichuris suis), Roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides), or human hookworm. The hookworm resides in the small intestine and whipworm in the cecum and ascending colon.

Here's how human hookworms get to the small intestine from the blood in their natural state as opposed to deliberate inoculation... (as originally quoted by CF member Helminthic Therapy):

Eggs are passed in the stool , and under favorable conditions (moisture, warmth, shade), larvae hatch in 1 to 2 days. The released rhabditiform larvae grow in the feces and/or the soil , and after 5 to 10 days (and two molts) they become filariform (third-stage) larvae that are infective . These infective larvae can survive 3 to 4 weeks in favorable environmental conditions. On contact with the human host, the larvae penetrate the skin and are carried through the blood vessels to the heart and then to the lungs. They penetrate into the pulmonary alveoli, ascend the bronchial tree to the pharynx, and are swallowed . The larvae reach the small intestine, where they reside and mature into adults. Adult worms live in the lumen of the small intestine, where they attach to the intestinal wall with resultant blood loss by the host . Most adult worms are eliminated in 1 to 2 years, but the longevity may reach several years.

Advantages

Studies are being conducted for the use of helminthic therapy in the treatment of Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, MS and/or other auto-immune disorders as well as some allergies. Pig Whipworm (TSO) has a remission rate of around 50-70%, depending on the disease.
One dose of hookworms lasts on average 5 years, but can be up to 15 years of remission from a single dose.
There appears to be far fewer side effects compared with strong IBD drugs such as prednisone.

Disadvantages

TSO (pig whipworm) therapy can prove expensive, as the patient must take a dose every two weeks for the rest of their life (costing around $12,000 per year). There have been extremely rare cases of worms becoming adults and causing problems such as Perforated Bowel.

It is not clear if this therapy is safe in general, can be used in pregnancy, or with other medical conditions.

Clinical Trials

References

1. Ludwig-Portugall I and Layland LE. TLRs, Treg, and B cells, an interplay of regulation during helminth infection. Front. Immun. 2012; 3:8. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2012.00008 http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/D...u-03-00008.pdf

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...12+GNW20120322

http://www.coronadobiosciences.com/r...opment/TSO.cfm

http://www.coronadobiosciences.com/r...cal-trials.cfm

Links


Popular Threads Discussing Helminthic Therapy (Hookworm, Whipworm)



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09-25-2010, 03:16 PM   #1
HelminthicTherapy
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There are 2 types of whipworm: Trichuris suis (porcine whipworm) and Trichuris trichiura (human whipworm). The human version isn't expensive, they live for a few years, so the cost comes out to only a couple of dollars a day. Regarding the claim that whipworm lead to perforation of the bowel - there are not any documented cases of that happening with the human whipworm, especially with the low doses that are used in the treatment with helminthic therapy. The infection levels are very light and generally don't have any side effects. In any case, a single dose of albendazole gets rid of the whipworms and hookworms successfully. Also, breathing nitrous oxide (laughing gas) that's used at the dentist's is fatal to both species used in helminthic therapy.
09-30-2010, 08:27 AM   #2
Igor_Passau
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Biotherapy is the use of living organisms to treat or diagnose medical illnesses. Examples of medicinal organisms include leeches, fly larvae (maggots), bacteriophage, UC, CD and many more.

_w.bterfoundation.org/icb/icb2010.htm

Brochure:
_ww.bterfoundation.org/icb/icb_brochure.pdf

David Pritchard (UK) will present hookworms treatment!
10-18-2010, 07:13 AM   #3
Igor_Passau
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Video about Worms:
_w.wbaltv.com/video/22820045/detail.html#COMMENTTOP
02-17-2011, 03:21 PM   #4
rbd
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The person in that news report that Igor posted is me. If you have any questions about the therapy, feel free to PM me.
03-30-2011, 02:13 PM   #5
JetWhite
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I have wondered about this and it is great to find so much discussion and information here

I have UC so the whipworm would be the option for me but above, in the article, it says " The hookworm resides in the small intestine and whipworm in the cecum and ascending colon."

So would this treatment work if the IBD is further along the colon in the sigmoid and rectum?

Thanks
__________________
Jet

Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis October 2009

Azathioprine 125mg/day (at night)
Asacol - 1200g 2 x day
Amiltriptyline 50mg/day gradually increasing
Predfoam for flare ups and more than I expected
Tramadol with paracetamol, more than I anticipated
Various daily supplements inc Multi-vits with iron
and watching what I consume

Sometimes : Pred tablets
Calcichew & Alendronic Acid ; Calcichew taste nice

I am so very glad to have joined the forum

04-16-2011, 06:51 PM   #6
rbd
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I have wondered about this and it is great to find so much discussion and information here

I have UC so the whipworm would be the option for me but above, in the article, it says " The hookworm resides in the small intestine and whipworm in the cecum and ascending colon."

So would this treatment work if the IBD is further along the colon in the sigmoid and rectum?

Thanks
Jet,

Most likely. Whipworm has been used more in cases of UC and where there is more disease in the colon and rectum. However whipworm don't normally live as long as hookworm, and (as a positive) don't appear to suck blood (from the chat I had, it seems like the researchers aren't that sure exactly how the worms get their nutrition -- they do work differently than hookworm though).

The other thing worth mentioning is that the direct effect of the worms' presence on the tissues is the first and the least of the two major effects the worm have in most people. The (much) larger effect is from your immune system's reaction to the worms, where after the body "gets used" to them, will produce T-suppressor cells that will have very far reaching, systemic effects.

For instance, before the worms, I would always have not only inflammation in my gut, but in the membranes on the inside of my nose again (they would always be sore and bleed from time to time). After the worms, my energy levels came up a ton, and the inflammation throughout my body basically went away. As of right now, I have no signs of the disease, as long as I avoid eating wheat. I also take no medication (although I just started trying low dose naltrexone along with the worms to see if I can even reduce my worm count further).

One thing I do recommend from my personal experience, if you do do this, is to start with a low dose and work up from there. Especially with hookworm, the lowest dose that has the intended effect is best, as they do take blood. You must also watch your iron levels with hookworm.

Past that, you're best talking to a provider of the worms with respect to your specific case. Feel free to PM me for a recommendation.

Robby

Last edited by rbd; 04-16-2011 at 07:02 PM.
04-28-2011, 02:14 PM   #7
JetWhite
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WOW ! Thanks Robby

and sorry for the delay in responding. Things have been rather crazy and this is the first time I've got back on here for ages.
I have a lot of catching up to do !!
05-28-2011, 12:40 AM   #8
HelminthicTherapy
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Helminthic therapy wiki site has a lot of information on this subject. It's at http://opensourcehelminththerapy.org It has a lot of Studies & Papers on there as well.
08-27-2012, 12:34 PM   #9
Igor_Passau
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http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=40354
08-31-2012, 11:27 PM   #10
mreyn
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This is the second time I've found this tonight!! Can someone tell me who to contact or how to see if this will help my son?
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