BSA 2013: Ancient Parasites Treat Allergies

Knowing which parasites infected our ancient ancestors could show us how to best treat severe allergies.
17 September 2013
Presented by Matt Burnett


Schistosoma mansoni, the cause of the disease bilharzia


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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