Helminths, aka parasitic worms that live in our guts, are very good at quieting down the immune system in order to avoid rejection.
As a consequence, some scientists think that these critters may also protect people against autoimmune diseases. And clinical trials are underway to test that strategy.
Recently, P’ng Loke and his team at reviewed how helminths modulate the immune system in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
The picture shows eggs of a whipworm, or Trichuris trichiura, inside a female worm.
Image by Kimberley Evason, UCSF School of Medicine, Department of Pathology