Trichuris suis secrete products that reduce disease severity in a multiple sclerosis model

Acta Parasitol. 2017 Mar 1;62(1):22-28. doi: 10.1515/ap-2017-0002.


Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory central nervous system (CNS) disease, which affects about 1 in 1000 individuals in the western world. It has been suggested that this relatively high prevalence is linked to a high level of hygiene, i.e. a reduced exposure to various microorganisms, including parasites. Parasites are known to employ different immunomodulatory and antiinflammatory strategies, which enable them to evade destruction by the immune system. We have investigated the immunomodulation by the swine whipworm, Trichuris suis, by measuring the impact of oral administration of T. suis ova as well as of intraperitoneal administration of T. suis excretory/secretory products on the development and progression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis - an animal model that shares clinical and pathological characteristics with multiple sclerosis. Intraperitoneal administration of excretory/secretory products before disease onset, resulted in a significant decrease in disease severity as well as markedly reduced TH1 and TH17 T-cell responses, centrally in the spinal cord as well as in the periphery, i.e. the spleen. Thus, parenteral administration of T. suis-derived products results in a skewing of the immune response with a significant impact on disease severity in a CNS inflammatory disease model.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / therapy*
  • Female
  • Helminth Proteins / immunology
  • Immunologic Factors / metabolism
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Immunomodulation
  • Larva
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Rats
  • Therapy with Helminths*
  • Trichuris / classification
  • Trichuris / metabolism*


  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Immunologic Factors