Immune monitoring of Trichuris suis egg therapy in multiple sclerosis patients

J Helminthol. 2012 Sep;86(3):339-47. doi: 10.1017/S0022149X11000460. Epub 2011 Aug 15.


Initial clinical trials using Trichuris suis eggs (TSO) in autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, revealed a striking suppressive effect on the autoimmune response. Here, we analysed the effect of TSO therapy on the course of multiple sclerosis (MS), as a Th1/Th17-associated autoimmune disease. Different immunological parameters in four patients with secondary progressive MS were surveyed during a 6-month therapy with TSO, focusing on the modulation of T-cell Th1-Th2 balance as well as on the innate immune response. We are able to show a slight downregulation of the Th1-associated cytokine pattern, especially relevant in interleukin (IL)-2 (P < 0.05 after 2 months of therapy), with a temporary increase of Th2-associated cytokines such as IL-4. Furthermore, mild eosinophily and changes in CD4+ and CD8+T cells and natural killer (NK) CD56 bright cell numbers were observed. The findings observed in this group of patients suggest that TSO therapy has a moderate immunomodulatory impact in MS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Immunologic
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / immunology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / parasitology
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th1 Cells / parasitology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / parasitology
  • Trichuris / immunology*