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Tue, 17th Sep 2013

2013.09.17 - British Science Festival 2013: Ancient Parasites Treat Allergies

Electron micrograph of Schistosoma mansoni (c) David Williams, Illinois State University

Ancient parasites could be used to cure severe allergy sufferers according to new research from the University of Cambridge. Matt Burnett discovers how Dr Piers Mitchell has unearthed which parasites infected our ancient ancestors. Doctors could use these parasites, which have co-evolved with us, to divert the attention of an overactive immune system away from allergens. This could be the best way to treat patients with severe allergies like asthma and hay fever, and may even have implications for other diseases like inflammatory bowel disease.

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