Healthy Living

Protein Secreted by Parasitic Worms May Treat Crohn's and Colitis

Exactly how this reaction can improve IBD

Upon analyzing the patient’s health status, the researchers found that during a colitis episode, 70% of a particular type of immune cell, known as the T helper cell, produced interleukin-17 – a type of inflammatory protein. Moreover, only 1% produced a protein known as interleukin-22. The researchers also found that in areas with less inflammation, the T helper cells produced more of interleukin-22 and the intestinal lining was dry. “I think what's happening is the immune response is trying to expel the worms and also trying to repair the damage that the worms are causing in the gut. That response may actually improve colitis, because it's increasing mucus production and it's increasing the turnover of the epithelial cells in the gut,” said Loke.