2017
DOI: 10.1093/trstmh/trx010
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A life without worms

Abstract: Worms have co-evolved with humans over millions of years. To survive, they manipulate host systems by modulating immune responses so that they cause (in the majority of hosts) relatively subtle harm. Anthelminthic treatment has been promoted as a measure for averting worm specific pathology and to mitigate subtle morbidities which may include effects on anaemia, growth, cognitive function and economic activity. With our changing environment marked by rapid population growth, urbanisation, better hygiene practi… Show more

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Cited by 12 publications
(12 citation statements)
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References 113 publications
(116 reference statements)
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“…Induction of immunomodulatory mechanisms has been used to explain epidemiological data reporting an inverse association between exposure to helminth infections and human chronic inflammatory diseases, including allergic conditions (19, 59). However, a putative causal relationship between helminth infection and reduction of allergic diseases is mainly supported by data from experimental animal models, while evidence from human studies are still controversial and suggest that aspects such as helminth species, chronicity and site of infection, and parasite burden should be taken into consideration (45, 60, 61). Here, we conducted a cross-sectional study in a schistosomiasis endemic area where most infected individuals harbor a small number of parasites, with the aim of evaluating whether low parasite burden could affect the modulation of allergic reactivity against common household allergens.…”
Section: Discussionmentioning
confidence: 99%
“…Induction of immunomodulatory mechanisms has been used to explain epidemiological data reporting an inverse association between exposure to helminth infections and human chronic inflammatory diseases, including allergic conditions (19, 59). However, a putative causal relationship between helminth infection and reduction of allergic diseases is mainly supported by data from experimental animal models, while evidence from human studies are still controversial and suggest that aspects such as helminth species, chronicity and site of infection, and parasite burden should be taken into consideration (45, 60, 61). Here, we conducted a cross-sectional study in a schistosomiasis endemic area where most infected individuals harbor a small number of parasites, with the aim of evaluating whether low parasite burden could affect the modulation of allergic reactivity against common household allergens.…”
Section: Discussionmentioning
confidence: 99%
“…If this holds for human malaria parasites, it suggests that co-infections that cause anaemia (e.g. helminth infections, [ 80 ]) could select for less virulent malaria genotypes. Further, anaemic patients may require additional transmission-reducing measures because they may be more infectious than their counterparts [ 44 , 72 ].…”
Section: Discussionmentioning
confidence: 99%
“…In animal models, helminths generally impair priming and accelerate waning of vaccine responses, although effects vary with helminth species, vaccine type and the timing of infection and immunisation. 22 Most observational studies in humans also suggest suppressed or biased responses during helminth infection, especially during systemic infections, such as schistosomiasis and the filariases. There is modest evidence that treating geohelminths in humans improves responses to BCG 23 24 or oral cholera vaccine 25 and we found that schistosomiasis treatment improved the measles-booster response in preschool children.…”
Section: Introductionmentioning
confidence: 99%