Parasite role reversal: worms on trial

Trends Parasitol. 2005 Apr;21(4):157-60. doi: 10.1016/


Asthma has reached epidemic proportions globally. This has been attributed by many to improved hygiene. The frequent failure of conventional pharmaceuticals to manage the disease has led to the introduction of parasites as a potential alternative therapy for asthma and other immunological diseases. In this article, we briefly review the immunological rationale underpinning therapeutic parasitic infection, describe recently initiated trials, and highlight potential risks and benefits of introducing parasites into patient cohorts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Asthma / immunology
  • Asthma / prevention & control
  • Helminths / immunology*
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Humans
  • Hygiene*
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Necator americanus / immunology
  • Trichuris / immunology