Possible use of Trichuris suis ova in autism spectrum disorders therapy

Med Hypotheses. 2013 Jul;81(1):1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.03.024. Epub 2013 Apr 15.


Autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are heterogeneous, severe neurodevelopmental pathologies. The main core symptoms are: dysfunctions in social interactions and communication skills, restricted interests, repetitive and stereotypic verbal and non-verbal behaviors. Several biochemical processes are associated with ASDs: oxidative stress; endoplasmic reticulum stress; decreased methylation capacity; limited production of glutathione; mitochondrial dysfunction; intestinal dysbiosis; increased toxic metal burden; immune dysregulation. Current available treatments for ASDs can be divided into behavioral, nutritional and medical approaches, although no defined standard approach exists. Current drugs fail to benefit the ASD core symptoms and can have marked adverse effects, are mainly palliative and only sometimes efficacy in attenuating specific autistic behaviors. Helminthic therapy shows potential for application as anti-inflammatory agent. Several human diseases can be treated by helminths (i.e. inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, multiple sclerosis and autoimmune diabetes). Trichuris suis ova (TSO) show strong immunomodulatory properties. Authors hypothesize that TSO could be useful in addressing ASD immune dysregulations. TSO could be a novel therapeutic option for ASD management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Trichuris / physiology*