A new article from BBC News about the link beteen (lack of) parasites and allergy to dust mites. This is a very large study;1500+ schoolchildren in Vietnam. They gave 1/2 deworming tablets, and studied them for some period of time. Those without worms had a significantly increased allergy to dust mites. There wasn’t any conslusive relationship with asthma or eczema. (Just give them time…) “The researchers said this strongly suggests that gut worms have the potential to tone down human immune responses.”
“Parasitic gut worms, such as hookworm, might aid the development of new treatments for asthma and other allergies, a study in Vietnam suggests.
Infection with hookworm and other parasitic worms is endemic in Vietnam, but rates of asthma and other allergies are low.
British and Vietnamese scientists gave local children treatment to clear their body of worms.
They found this led to an increase in dust mite allergy among the children.”
This news report goes into greater detail:
“Dr Flohr has examined the links between worms and allergic diseases in Vietnamese children and found that those with the highest level of hookworm infestation were the least likely to have an allergic response to house dust mites.
These findings support the hypothesis that gastrointestinal infection with either hookworms or other micro-organisms protects against allergy and add further weight to the so-called â€˜hygiene hypothesisâ€™.”
Interesting that the highest level of hookworm infection had the greatest benefit. Clearly, dose matters.
I think I need more worms.