martes, 10 de febrero de 2015

Autoimmune diseases, allergy and autism relation based on worm therapy

This review article has been published by scientific magazine Ars Pharmaceutica. At follows is included the bibliographic citation. The article can be downloaded in pdf format by clicking over the citation link and by browsing to the magazine number 56(2). 

You can access directly by clicking the following link:


Objectives. Hygiene hypothesis postulates about immunomodulatory effects induced by some infectious agents in human beings. The main objective of this review is to find out what the evidence of this hypothesis is and its applications in the field of autoimmune diseases, paying especial attention not only in the action mechanisms in which they are based upon but also in the real outcome obtained. Moreover, the likely evolution of these therapies will be analyzed, especially in what is related to ethical disputes arising from these treatment applications regarding whether the causing infection is fair in order to heal another pathology, as the case may be.

Outcome. Promising outcomes currently exist in regards to helminth therapy applied to treat autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, summarised in this review.

Equally promising is the high amount of outstanding clinical trials for the application of helminthic therapy to a wide range of different pathologies in which the immune system is involved, such as: asthma, allergical rhinitis, rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes mellitus, autoimmune encephalomyelitis, obesity, autism, etc, which have identified useful parasites for the treatment of such a wide spectrum of diseases.

However it is needed to highlight that helminths are not always immunoregulators and therefore useful in all autoimmune disease treatments. Those which are immunoregulators, are not useful in any autoimmune disease treatment because they are highly specific. Moreover, its usefulness shows high variability, which means it is not only dependent on disease but also dependent upon patient conditions. It is because of this that helminthic therapies are not currently approved by major medical agencies; still many outstanding aspects need to be unveiled, because hygiene hypothesis has not overcome the hypothesis status. However these promising therapies have gained the status of “investigational products”.

Conclusions. Additional investigation is needed. Especially promising are parasitic soluble products employed in autoimmune disease treatments in place of helminthic infection and even, less risky and more effective new analogue synthetic drug designs. This latter kind of product utilisation will increase the number of clinical trials due to patent ease of this product versus direct utilisation of parasitic phases. However more investigation is still needed to know which parasitic biomolecules are responsible for the therapeutic effect.

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