We’re on our own in the US with worms

Looks like Jasper of AIT can’t ship hookworms or whipworms to the US because of legal reasons.  Wormtherapy is still offering hookworms, but you have to go to San Diego then Tijuana to get them.  I’d like to collect an aggregate of information on hookworm incubation methods here, so we can learn from one another’s mistakes and triumphs.  What I’m finding is most people need to dose way more often than once every 3-5 years.  I’m only dosing moderately (10 hookworms at a time) and I’ve had good effects for about 4 months, then things decline.  I’ve also heard personally from others that about the one year mark, things start to go downhill.  I’m sure it depends on dose and disease, environmental factors.  Of course, I’m not in touch with the vast majority of people trying worms, but the more we can learn and understand about this and share this information, the better.

I will be trying to incubate again this week.  I will share my methods of success or not.  Meanwhile, here is another place where someone is experimenting with incubating hookworms.  Let’s help one another, shall we?

Update:  someone suggested two links for incubating instructions.  The first:

http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/178_02_200103/lan10157_fm.html#CACJFHGC

From this post (they were incubating dog hookworms, but I imagine it would be the same for necator americanus:)

1: Details of isolation of third-stage larvae from infected dog faeces and of preparation of faecal samples from the human volunteer for microscopy

Isolation of larvae: Equal volumes of faeces and vermiculite were mixed well in a one litre plastic container, moistened and incubated at 30oC, being stirred daily. After five days, the mixture was spread onto large glass Petri dishes, covered with a 5 mm layer of washed, coarse river sand and overlaid with two layers of damp surgical gauze. The top layer of gauze (into which infective L3 had migrated) was removed (and replaced) at 12-hour intervals, to be rinsed in distilled water. Larvae were retrieved from the suspension by gravitational sedimentation, and stored in BU buffer (50 mM Na2HPO4, 22 mM KH2PO4, 70 mM NaCl) at 12oC to preserve their infectivity.”

And the second site, with a good second page on identifying the difference between hookworm larvae and stronglyoides:

https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/1887/13930/12/Appendix+01.PDF

“Preparation of the culture:
1        Put a flat cylindrical disk (40mm x 4mm) in the middle of a 10cm petri-dish
2        Put a circular filter paper (80mm) on top of the disk
3        Add water up to just below the level of the disk
2g stool sample         Petri-dish
+ vermiculite
Filter paper Cylindrical disk Water
4        Mix 2g of faeces with equal volume of vermiculite/coarsely ground charcoal
5        Label the dish lid with the patient’s number and the date
6        Keep away from direct sunlight
7        Add water when needed
After 7 days incubation:
8        Remove the filter paper and the faeces
9        Pour the water from the petri-dish into a conical settling tube
10       Rinse the petri-dish with a little water, pouring it into the same settling tube
11       Label the tube with the patient’s number
Allow the larvae to settle at the bottom of the tube. 2 hours later:
12       Pipette 1 OOul of sediment from bottom of tube onto a microscope slide
13       Systematically examine the whole drop using X4 objective
14       Switch onto X10 to distinguish between hookworm and oesophagostomum
15       Count the larvae
16       Add a drop of dilute iodine in KI solution to kill the larvae if necessary
NB       If using tap water, boil to kill plant nematodes and to remove chlorine
Cultures checked daily, to remove maggots and break up fungal hyphae
Iodine solution: 0.3g KI and 0.2g I2 in 10ml water. 1-2 drops in 1 ml water”

Happy hookworm growing!  Scientists, we could use some help here…

  1. Percy’s avatar

    Why doesn’t someone create a yahoo group dedicated to sharing inforormation on incubating hookworm?

  2. Leo F’s avatar

    It’s a homebrew industry in the US now. There are many ironic parallels with prohibition. Shame that Eliot Ness (or the FDA) wants to prevent people being naturally well this time round. Stick together guys.

  3. Greyson’s avatar

    It is regrettable what happened to Jasper and AIT, but I am sure he knew he was playing with fire when he moved his business into the US. You just don’t mess with the FDA. I was actually scheduled to have hookworms sent to me from AIT the week it was shut down. I have since gotten hookworms from wormtherapy.com. I had to fly to San Diego and then was picked up at the airport and taken into TJ. They were very professional and knowledgeable, I have no regrets. Worms were ~$2200 and the flight was $500, in and out the same day. I wish Jasper and AIT all the best, but wormtherapy.com is now the only game in town and I highly recommend them.

  4. admin’s avatar

    How’s it going so far? How many worms did you get? For what disease?

  5. Percy’s avatar

    From what I can tell, Wormtherapy is a bad company. I think a grass-roots approach to cultivating hookworm is the best solution. After all, how could a company like worm therapy provide medical insurance?

    This always should have been a DIY enterprise, and never a business for entrepreneurs.

  6. admin’s avatar

    Why do you think they are a bad company?

    The problem with DIY is 1) someone knowledgeable has to procure the worms and 2) even free sharing will have the same problem re the FDA

    But I admit something must be done, the very least enough people learning safe methods of obtaining a sample, incubating, and infecting, and what I really wish for: a public database including very detailed data of each person’s responses, including blood tests, microscope videos, and measurable effects. The snails pace this is going is insufferable.

  7. Leo F’s avatar

    Has anyone applied for a FOI release on the FDA’s judgement on AIT? It must have been very serious for Jasper to flee the country. Probably multiple breaches of state/federal law. As they say ‘the law’s an ass’.

  8. admin’s avatar

    How does one apply for an FOI? Are you volunteering? I believe since hookworms were classified as a drug, he would be guilty of selling illegal drugs. What does that get one nowadays re jailtime?

    Sad that the publicity is most likely the source of their interest. I love how my VSL just arrived, billions and billions of infectious bacteria to my door, but I guess it’s not contagious like hookworms. The now illicit nature of a common, lowly worm is unfortunate.

  9. Leo F’s avatar

    Never made a FOIA request before but it would be illuminating. As the FDA is a govt dept it would no doubt be required to release its findings to Joe Public. As you say, I guess Jasper Lawrence was threatened with jail on ‘drugs’ charges which is unfair on him.

  10. Jacin’s avatar

    I noticed that a new Yahoo Group has been created !

    “IncubatingHookworm”

    Subtle name !
    Have you guys not seen it ?
    Why is no one is posting in it ?….

    http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/IncubatingHookworm/

  11. admin’s avatar

    Thanks for alerting us to it, I hadn’t seen it. Great idea!

  12. Greyson’s avatar

    Regarding your questions: I was treated with 25-30 hookworm for allergies: food, inhalant, and multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). It’s been 8 weeks and I never had a rash, but I did have a terrible migraine 5 days after the hookworms and then I felt I was walking around in a “fog” for about 6 weeks, but that has since lifted. I had a few episodes of diarrhea and constant low-level nausea with slight light-headedness starting 2 weeks after the worms and lasting about a month. It started with waves of nausea where I thought I would vomit for sure, but never did. I had a few of those episodes over the month of nausea. All that has almost all resolved. I never felt the “rush of relief” that you described. I am now at about where I was before the worms, no real relief yet. That does not concern me as the more I read about peoples experiences it seems that real relief is a slow build that is not complete until about month 5 or 6, so I am patient.

  13. admin’s avatar

    Let me just note the “rush of relief” DID NOT happen with the first dose, nor did I get the “hookworm high”. That was all in subsequent doses. I also barely had a rash the first time, but the rashes get worse with each innoculation.

    Hopefully you’ll start noticing things for the better in another month. It was between months 3-4 that the real improvement began for me. Redosing is much faster in getting relief, though I had 6 weeks of side effects this last time, so it’s inconsistent.

    Good luck!

  14. Trish’s avatar

    I am interested in Greyson’s Feb. 16 post. I have similar ailments, pretty severe MCS and am researching helminthic therapy. I am interested in hearing anyone’s experience using it to treat chemical sensitivity. Greyson, where are you now with it all? The question I am trying to answer is, are chemical sensitivities a type of allergy? Jasper at AIT seems to think that if they are, the helminth therapy could help me a lot.

  15. Frank Song Jr.’s avatar

    I’m preparing a research project in order to isolate the chemical or protein (don’t know which yet…but if anybody could get me some information on this…then thanks!!) However, I am having troubles obtaining hookworms!…I have reasearched that other nematodes can be a model for hookworms….Also, my idea was to find a model of hookworm that infects insects…Because I am not allowed to use vertebrates in my laboratory, I was trying to find a hookworm or nematode that infects insect. By infecting the insect, I can crush up the insects after infection and research what additional chemical or protein is present by comparing it to crushed up control (an insect without infection and just a plain worm/nematode)…..However, the only kind of hookworm that infects insects I have found so far is the nematode that infects fig wasps….I have no idea where I could possibly get these nematodes and fig wasps. If anyone has any suggestions or helpful pointers…then thanks!!!!!!

  16. Frank Song Jr.’s avatar

    The protein or chemical I am talking about is the one that somehow “lullabies” the immun system….So if I isolate the chemical or protein through a column chromatography or HPLC….then maybe people won’t have to infect themselves with hookworms, but just inject the protein/chemical….There’s still a lot things to research though!!

  17. paul’s avatar

    http://opensourcehelminththerapy.org/mediawiki2/index.php?title=DIY#Do_It_Yourself_Helminth_Therapy

    There is also a forum up on yahoo dedicated to incubating hookworm – the link is at the one above

    I’m glad to see others are trying this. I’ve got a website with a wiki and forum, up and dedicated to this. Also working on electronics for an automated incubator. I’d love to have help on the website PLEASE just jump right in and start adding or editing.

  18. Paul Badger’s avatar

    I can’t find the website I just grabbed the following quote from, but if you google around, you’ll see that hookworm do not like acid or acid soil.

    This is just one thought, but perhaps your efforts at incubation have not succeeded because your stool was too acid. You could check this easily with some litmus paper, and correct it with a basic buffer, or just baking soda. The hookworms also apparently don’t like salt either, but acid seems to be the larger problem.

    “The importance of a soil of neutral pH is not just for the egg. juvenile hookworms are also sensitive to high salt concentrations and acidic soil. “

  19. Peter’s avatar

    I use most of this method for incubation and it seems to work perfectly.
    I use a take away food container for incubation and place the cover fully on during early stages. I can regulate the humidity within the container (inside the incubator) by partly uncovering the container in later incubation stages. I leave it for six to seven days before I harvest the larvae.

    Most importantly, I believe you need a good incubator. I made mine using an old cooler (us Aussies call them eskys), a 75 watt heating element and an electronic thermostat to keep the temperature constant at 30° C. Do not use a lamp. Eggs hatch in the dark and larvae do not like or survive long in strong light for long periods.
    In the last stage, I keep the gauze damp by spraying it with a mist of distilled water.

    Use BU buffer solution to wash the larvae from the gauze into a beaker before counting and extracting them from the solution.

    The recipe for the BU buffer mentioned in the MJA journal article is:
    4.1g Sodium Chloride (Table salt)
    7.1g Disodium hydrogen phosphate
    3.0g Potassium dihydrogen phosphate
    Mix these ingredients individually into 1 Litre of distilled water. Store the buffer solution long term in a fridge as it contains no preservatives.

    Check ph is 7.4 with an accurate ph meter. Do not rely on litmus paper as it is very inaccurate. The difference between 7.4 and 6.8 is huge as far as larvae are concerned. Adjust the ph if necessary to 7.4

    Happy incubating!

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