Allergies &
Helminthic Therapy

Evidence for the use of the immunotherapy helminthic therapy to treat Allergies

The increase in people suffering from allergies is now one of the fastest growing health care problems in the industrialized nations. In 1976 a researcher, J. A. Turton, infected himself with a parasitic organism, hookworm (a type of helminth) and reported that his allergies disappeared so long as he was infected with the worms(1).

This is the first instance of helminthic therapy reported in the medical literature.

Turton published his article in the Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical science journals in the world, describing his experiences and observations. But, sadly, this early instance of helminthic therapy, went ignored for more than twenty years. Since then numerous studies have suggested that worms of this type, helminths such as hookworm(9), will prevent or alleviate the symptoms of allergies for many people (seasonal allergies and food allergies).

Over thirty years after Turton published his findings, research is currently being conducted at Nottingham University looking at the use of helminths, and their impact on allergies. The study involves the deliberate infection of people who suffer from allergies with small quantities of the helminth called hookworm.

There are also currently studies being conducted in Australia(2) looking at the impact hookworms have on Coeliac disease, a digestive intolerance of gluten.

These research studies are validated by our own observations that a substantial majority of those treated with helminthic therapy for their allergies cease to show any symptoms of allergy within three months of treatment.(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8) Although the number of people we have treated is too small to provide reliable statistics, the response of the people we have treated is very promising.

Below you will find personal accounts as well as science in support of the observations above, that helminthic therapy can prevent allergies of all kinds. To skip our clients' accounts you can click either food allergies or seasonal allergies to jump ahead to the science.

Personal Accounts

To protect the privacy of our clients we use pseudonyms unless given permission in writing to do otherwise. To speak with references please contact us and we will put you in touch with some of our clients.

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Todd Troutman - Allergies and Asthma


Todd Troutman


Chris A. - Asthma and Seasonal Allergies

I am forty years old as of writing this in early 2008 and had asthma and seasonal allergies from the age of 28, 12 years ago, until recently. I did not suffer from other allergies except for one unusual one. I am a surfer and always get bad sinusitis from surfing, especially when there is a red tide. For those of you who live inland red tides are an algae bloom that makes the water appear a reddish brown color (and stink).

Over the past twelve years I had tried a ton of over the counter and prescription stuff to treat my asthma and hay fever: You name it I took it. Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl, Singulair, Albuterol, prednisone, etc. None really worked except to reduce my symptoms for a short time, but I was still miserable. And the side effects of the only good treatment, prednisone, scare me to death.

I could not be consistent with working out either. Having to start over constantly makes exercise even harder than it would normally be. With my asthma getting worse every year I needed an answer and not more garbage that didn’t work.

I have known Jasper since I was eighteen, for twenty-two years. I heard from a mutual friend about what he was doing with worms, and, although it sounded crazy, I decided to look into it in late 2007.

After a bunch of thinking, and talking it over with my girl friend, I decided to give it a try. Honestly, I only did it because I was desperate. I don’t think anyone is exactly thrilled about the idea of infecting themselves with worms, I know I wasn’t, and neither was my partner (haha!). But my doctor had nothing that worked and it turned out to be the best decision I ever made.

I was inoculated with the worms in late November in Santa Cruz.

It was pretty simple. My forearm was shaved in a small area to allow the bandage to stick and it, and the invisible worm larvae it carried was taped to my skin. Then we wrapped it up to keep it in place for a day.

I never got an itch or a rash, and I started to think that I had not gotten the worms, that maybe they had died or a mistake had been made.

I didn’t get any side effects either, from the first dose of ten worm larvae, or from the other two doses of 20 worm larvae each in late January and late Feb. My schedule was hurried up because I did not get side effects.

Because my asthma is caused by pollen, and cats and dogs, it is hard to say with for sure exactly when I got better from the helminthic therapy. My asthma usually comes and goes with the seasons. I first noticed it was gone when I went surfing. Exercise used to cause an asthma almost every time. In later January I started to notice that I was not getting short of breath when I worked out or surfed. My workout partner, the one who turned me on to the idea, says the way I breathe is totally different and I exercise a lot harder.

Since I live in Northern California we have had spring since early March. I have been free of asthma and allergies for the first time in twelve years. Even better is that this is the time of year when it is usually the worst.

I could not be happier that I made the decision to get treated with helminthic therapy and that I was able to overcome my fears, and those of my partner. I still get the occasional allergy symptom, but it is nothing. I also cough with a barking sound every now and them, but no short breath, no attacks, nothing that makes me aware of my breathing. Stoked!

I know it sounds weird and disgusting to infect yourself with a bunch of worms, but it worked for me and now I don’t even know I have them.

To be able to just breath without thinking about it is fantastic. No more misery. I would take helminthic therapy over that any day.

Thank you Jasper for giving me my life back.


Helminthic Therapy & Seasonal Allergies: Science

For a copy of the full text of any papers here, and many others, please contact us being sure to name the disease, or subject, you would like the papers to investigate.


Can intestinal helminth infections (geohelminths) affect the development and expression of asthma and allergic disease?

Abstract

There are close parallels between inflammation associated with allergic disease and that caused by infections with helminth parasites. Both allergy and helminth infections are associated with elevated levels of IgE, tissue eosinophilia and mastocytosis, and CD4+ T cells that preferentially secrete the Th2 cytokines IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13. There is good evidence that the expression of inflammation caused by helminth infections can be modulated by the host immune response [3], and that the failure of the expression of similar mechanisms among individuals predisposed to allergy may be responsible for the clinical expression of allergic disease [4]. Further, there is accumulating evidence that helminth infections, particularly those caused by intestinal helminth parasites (or geohelminths) may be capable of modulating the expression of allergic disease. This review will examine the evidence for such a modulatory role of intestinal helminth infections (geohelminths) and will provide evidence that the expression of allergic inflammation in different regions of the Tropics may depend partly on local differences in the endemicity of geohelminth infections. Full Text Free Download


Regulation of Allergy and Autoimmunity in Helminth Infection

Abstract

Parasitic infections are a major theme in the “hygiene hypothesis”, as allergies and autoimmune diseases are less prevalent in countries with higher burdens of helminths and other parasitic organisms. Helminths”—the grouping of multicellular worm parasistes including nematodes, cestodes and trematodes—tend to establish long-lived, chronic infections indicating successful down-modulation of the host immune system. In this review, we describe the intricate immunology of host-helminth interactions and how parasites manipulate immune responses to enhance their survival. In so doing, they often minimise immunopathology and, it is suggested, reduce host susceptibility to, and severity of allergic and autoimmune diseases. Studies on helminth-infected communities and individuals support the hypothesis that an immuno-regulatory network promoted by parasites extends its influence to limiting allergies. Experimental models are now probing more deeply into the area of immune modulation by helminths, and we discuss the likely mechanisms by which helminths could be establishing a strongly regulatory environment. Understanding and harnessing the modulatory capacity of helminths may uncover novel therapeutic interventions, mimicking and exploiting their evolution for our benefit. Parasitic infections are a major theme in the—“hygiene hypothesis”, as allergies and autoimmune diseases are less prevalent in countries with higher burdens of helminths and other parasitic organisms. Helminths”—the grouping of multicellular worm parasistes including nematodes, cestodes and trematodes—tend to establish long-lived, chronic infections indicating successful down-modulation of the host immune system. In this review, we describe the intricate immunology of host-helminth interactions and how parasites manipulate immune responses to enhance their survival. In so doing, they often minimise immunopathology and, it is suggested, reduce host susceptibility to, and severity of allergic and autoimmune diseases. Studies on helminth-infected communities and individuals sup- port the hypothesis that an immuno-regulatory network promoted by parasites extends its influence to limiting allergies. Experimental models are now probing more deeply into the area of immune modulation by helminths, and we discuss the likely mechanisms by which helminths could be establishing a strongly regulatory environment. Understanding and harnessing the modulatory capacity of helminths may uncover novel therapeutic interventions, mimicking and exploiting their evolution for our benefit. PMID: 14755074


Helminths, allergic disorders and IgE-mediated immune responses:
Where do we stand?

Abstract

Th2 responses induced by allergens or helminths share many common features. However, allergen-specific IgE can almost always be detected in atopic patients, whereas helminth-specific IgE is often not detectable and anaphylaxis often occurs in atopy but not helminth infections. This may be due to T regulatory responses induced by the helminths or the lack of helminth-specific IgE. Alternatively non-specific IgE induced by the helminths may protect from mast cell or basophil degranulation by saturating IgE binding sites. Both of these mechanisms have been implicated to be involved in helminth-induced protection from allergic responses. An article in the current issue of the European Journal of Immunology describes the generation of an anti-Nippostrongylus brasiliensis-specific IgE antibody which was used to identify a novel N. brasiliensis antigen (Nb-Ag1). The authors demonstrated that Nb-Ag1 specific IgE could only be detected for a short period of time during infection, and that these levels were sufficient to prime mast cells thereby leading to active cutaneous anaphylaxis after the application of Nb-Ag1. This is the first report clearly showing that a low level of helminth-specific IgE, transiently produced, is able to induce mast cell degranulation in the presence of large amounts of polyclonal IgE. PMID: 17447233


The hygiene hypothesis and atopy: Bring back the parasites?

Abstract

Children who grow up on farms have a lower incidence of atopy and other allergic manifestations as compared with children who do not grow up on farms, but there is a paradoxically high prevalence of asthma. The prevalence of asthma is highest among children living on farms that raise swine and those that add antibiotics to animal feed.12 Similarly, a questionnaire-based study in Hanoi, Vietnam, found a positive relationship between allergic conditions and pig ownership.13 It is possible that the beneficial immune priming of a farm environment is outweighed by the addition of antibiotics to animalfeed. Other evidence also suggests an association between antibiotic administration to children early in life and an increased risk of asthma.14 The association between pig farming and asthma deserves further study.with pets, and the number of persons living in the home. PMID: 16384780


The increased prevalence of allergy and the hygiene hypothesis:
missing immune deviation, reduced immune suppression, or both?

Abstract:

Allergic atopic disorders, such as rhinitis, asthma, and atopic dermatitis, are the result of a systemic inflammatory reaction triggered by type 2 T helper (Th2) cell-mediated immune responses against 'innocuous' antigens (allergens) of complex genetic and environmental origin. A number of epidemiological studies have suggested that the increase in the prevalence of allergic disorders that has occurred over the past few decades is attributable to a reduced microbial burden during childhood, as a consequence of Westernized lifestyle (the 'hygiene hypothesis'). However, the mechanisms by which the reduced exposure of children to pathogenic and nonpathogenic microbes results in enhanced responses of Th2 cells are still controversial. The initial interpretation proposed a missing immune deviation of allergen-specific responses from a Th2 to a type 1 Th (Th1) profile, as a result of the reduced production of interleukin-12 and interferons by natural immunity cells which are stimulated by bacterial products via their Toll-like receptors. More recently, the role of reduced activity of T regulatory cells has been emphasized. The epidemiological findings and the experimental evidence available so far suggest that both mechanisms may be involved. A better understanding of this question is important not only from a theoretical point of view, but also because of its therapeutic implications.


Helminthic Therapy & Food Allergies: Science

For a copy of the full text of any papers here, and many others, please contact us being sure to name the disease, or subject, you would like the papers to investigate.


An Enteric Helminth Infection Protects Against an Allergic Response to Dietary Antigen

Abstract

Although helminths induce a polarized Th2 response they have been shown, in clinical studies, to confer protection against allergies. To elucidate the basis for this paradox, we have examined the influence of an enteric helminth infection on a model of food allergy. Upon Ag challenge, mice fed peanut (PN) extract plus the mucosal adjuvant cholera toxin (CT) produced PN-specific IgE that correlated with systemic anaphylactic symptoms and elevated plasma histamine. PN-specific IgE was not induced in helminth-infected mice fed PN without CT. Moreover, when PN plus CT was fed to helminth-infected mice, both PN-specific IgE and anaphylactic symptoms were greatly diminished. The down-regulation of PN-specific IgE was associated with a marked reduction in the secretion of IL-13 by PN-specific T cells. When helminth-infected PN plus CT-sensitized mice were treated with neutralizing Abs to IL-10, the PN-specific IgE response and anaphylactic symptoms were similar to, or greater than, those seen in mice that receive PN and CT alone. Taken together, these results suggest that helminth-dependent protection against allergic disease involves immunoregulatory mechanisms that block production of allergen-specific IgE. The Journal of Immunology, 2002, 169: 3284 –3292. PMID: 12218148


Enteric infection acts as an adjuvant for the response to a model food antigen.

Abstract

Although helminths induce a polarized Th2 response they have been shown, in clinical studies, to confer protection against allergies. To elucidate the basis for this paradox, we have examined the influence of an enteric helminth infection on a model of food allergy. Upon Ag challenge, mice fed peanut (PN) extract plus the mucosal adjuvant cholera toxin (CT) produced PN-specific IgE that correlated with systemic anaphylactic symptoms and elevated plasma histamine. PN-specific IgE was not induced in helminth-infected mice fed PN without CT. Moreover, when PN plus CT was fed to helminth-infected mice, both PN-specific IgE and anaphylactic symptoms were greatly diminished. The down-regulation of PN-specific IgE was associated with a marked reduction in the secretion of IL-13 by PN-specific T cells. When helminth-infected PN plus CT-sensitized mice were treated with neutralizing Abs to IL-10, the PN-specific IgE response and anaphylactic symptoms were similar to, or greater than, those seen in mice that receive PN and CT alone. Taken together, these results suggest that helminth-dependent protection against allergic disease involves immunoregulatory mechanisms that block production of allergen-specific IgE. The Journal of Immunology, 2002, 169: 3284 –3292. PMID: 12218148


Other References

(1) Turton, J.A. (1976) IgE, parasites, and allergy. The Lancet ii:686 (text not available online, too old)

(2) Inoculating Celiac Disease Patients With the Human Hookworm Necator Americanus: Evaluating Immunity and Gluten-Sensitivity

(3) Strachan, D. P. 1989. Hay fever, hygiene and household size. (The Hygiene Hypothesis) Br. Med. J. 299: 1259.

(4) Cookson, W. O. C. M., and M. F. Moffatt. 1997. Asthma: an epidemic-in-the-absence-of infection? Science 275:41.

(5) Mao, X.-Q., D.-J. Sun, A. Miyoshi, Z. Feng, Z. T. Handzel, J. M. Hopkin, and T. Shirakawa. 2000. The link between helminthic infection and atopy (allergy, asthma, eczema). Parasitol. Today 16:186.

(6) Weiss, S. T. 2000. Parasites and asthma/allergy: what is the relationship? J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 105:205.

(7) Wills-Karp, M., J. Santeliz, and C. L. Karp. 2001. The germless theory of allergic disease: revisiting the hygiene hypothesis. Nat. Rev. Immunol. 1:69.

(8) Yazdanbakhsh, M., A. van den Biggelaar, and R. M. Maizels. 2001. Th2 responses without atopy: immunoregulation in chronic helminth infections and reduced allergic disease. Trends Immunol. 22:372.

(9) Yazdanbakhsh, M., P. G. Kremsner, and R. van Ree. 2002. Allergy, parasites and the hygiene hypothesis. Science 296:490.


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