Potential treatment of inflammatory bowel disease: a review of helminths therapy

Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench. 2014 Winter;7(1):9-16.


An inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is most common in highly industrialized Western countries but uncommon in less developed areas of the world where helminths are frequent. The hygiene hypothesis proposes that the recent increase in allergic and autoimmune diseases is due to modern highly hygienic life styles and medical conditions. Loss of routine exposure to parasitic helminths, as a result of increasing lifestyle-associated factors, may be one factor leading to the increased disease prevalence. In animal models and clinical trials of IBD, gastrointestinal nematodes colonization suppresses intestinal inflammation through multiple mechanisms including induction of innate and adaptive regulatory circuits. Studies using helminths like Trichuris suis or Necator americanus showed that these helminths are safe and may be effective therapeutic approaches for the control of IBD and other immune diseases. The aim of present review was to exploring the therapeutic use of helminths for the control of IBD.

Keywords: Helminthes; Inflammatory bowel disease; Therapeutic.

Publication types

  • Review