Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Socio-Medical Studies of Individuals Self-Treating with Helminths Suggest That Most Clinical Trials Assessing Helminth Therapy May Be Designed to Fail

Version 1 : Received: 11 December 2020 / Approved: 14 December 2020 / Online: 14 December 2020 (13:40:28 CET)

How to cite: Venkatakrishnan, A.; Hames, J.; Jirků-Pomajbíková, K.; Parker, W. Socio-Medical Studies of Individuals Self-Treating with Helminths Suggest That Most Clinical Trials Assessing Helminth Therapy May Be Designed to Fail. Preprints 2020, 2020120340 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202012.0340.v1). Venkatakrishnan, A.; Hames, J.; Jirků-Pomajbíková, K.; Parker, W. Socio-Medical Studies of Individuals Self-Treating with Helminths Suggest That Most Clinical Trials Assessing Helminth Therapy May Be Designed to Fail. Preprints 2020, 2020120340 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202012.0340.v1).

Abstract

The virtually complete loss of intestinal worms, known as helminths, from Western society has resulted in elimination of a range of helminth-induced morbidities. Unfortunately, that loss has also led to inflammation-associated deficiencies in immune function, ultimately contributing to widespread pandemics of allergies, autoimmunity, and neuropsychiatric disorders. Several socio-medical studies have examined the effects of intentional reworming, or self-treatment with helminths, on a variety of inflammation-related disorders. In this study, the latest results from ongoing socio-medical studies are described. The results point toward two important factors that appear to be overlooked in some if not most clinical trials. Specifically, (a) the method of preparation of the helminth can have a profound effect on its therapeutic efficacy, and (b) variation between individuals in the effective therapeutic dosage apparently covers a 10-fold range, regardless of the helminth used. These results highlight current limits in our understanding of the biology of both hosts and helminths, and suggest that information from self-treatment may be critical in moving the field forward into mainstream medicine.

Subject Areas

helminth; helminthic therapy; biological therapy; inflammation; anti-inflammatory

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