Not All Worms Were Created Equal

Loukas, Alex, Croese, John, Rees, Megan A., and McCarthy, James S. (2022) Not All Worms Were Created Equal. Frontiers in Immunology, 13. 877707.

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[Extract] Whilst we support the need to report safety outcomes from experimental therapy of any kind, including the use of helminths as therapy, we believe that it is important to critically examine the causal relationship of the reported event to the proposed etiology so that a balanced view of the cause and effect be arrived at. This is particularly the case in an uncontrolled setting where formal processes for documenting and reporting experimental therapy may not be in place.

Recent reviews of studies with one of the most widely used helminths, the anthropophilic hookworm, Necator americanus, have shown this helminth to be safe and well tolerated in hundreds of individuals by numerous research groups across Australia, the US and Europe (1–3). In BMC Pulmonary Medicine (4), Zeynalyan and colleagues report rapidly progressive respiratory failure in a patient with significant comorbidities, including systemic sclerosis, interstitial lung disease and pulmonary hypertension after self-administration of N. americanus larvae that were purchased over the internet. Here we raise some concerns about this report.

Item ID: 73764
Item Type: Article (Editorial)
ISSN: 1664-3224
Keywords: hookworm, helminth therapy, lungs, Necator americanus, respiratory
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2022 Loukas, Croese, Rees and McCarthy. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Date Deposited: 11 May 2022 07:55
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3204 Immunology > 320402 Applied immunology (incl. antibody engineering, xenotransplantation and t-cell therapies) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200105 Treatment of human diseases and conditions @ 100%
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