Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Can Parasites Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis

‘worm Pill’ Could Ease Autoimmune Disease Symptoms

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Monash University
Experts believe a molecule in parasitic worms could help explain why worm infections can effectively treat a range of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The study successfully identified peptides from parasitic worms that suppress the body’s immune response. Researchers believe this could pave the way for a new drug containing the peptide to provide relief from the symptoms of autoimmune diseases.

Experts believe a molecule in parasitic worms could help explain why worm infections can effectively treat a range of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

The Monash University study, published in the FASEB Journal, successfully identified peptides from parasitic worms that suppress the body’s immune response. Researchers believe this could pave the way for a new drug containing the peptide to provide relief from the symptoms of autoimmune diseases.

Affecting as many as one in 20 Australians, autoimmune diseases occur when a person’s immune system has an abnormal response against its own cells, tissues or even entire organs, resulting in inflammation and damage.

Lead researcher Professor Ray Norton from Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences said experts around the world have yet to fully understand the causes of autoimmune diseases, which have risen significantly in parts of the world.

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What You Need To Know About Parasites

Theres a myth that intestinal parasites and parasitic diseases are rare and hard to contract. These microscopic hitchhikers are more common than you think, and they dont only affect your digestive tract.

Symptoms of a parasite often manifest as gastrointestinal distress, but thats only the tip of the iceberg. These invaders can wreak havoc on your entire body, from your brain to your liver. Some of them have the potential to cause problems that can last years. Parasites can also contribute to inflammation, immune impairment, and even autoimmune activation.

Helminths and protozoa are the two main types of intestinal parasites. Helminths are multi-cell parasitic worms such as pinworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms. Protozoa are microscopic, single-cell parasites. Since theyre invisible to the naked eye and dont always cause immediate symptoms, protozoa are much harder to detect. People can live for years not knowing theyre infected.

Signs And Symptoms Of Ivermectin Toxicity:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , clinical trials have shown that ivermectin is not effective at treating or preventing COVID-19.

Some with human participants found evidence that ivermectin may be an effective treatment, but these studies had flaws in their methodologies that made them prone to bias. Most studies since have found no benefit.

For example, a from Colombia found that taking ivermectin for 5 days did not significantly improve symptom duration in people with mild COVID-19 compared with a placebo.

A from Argentina found that ivermectin had no significant effect on preventing hospitalizations for people with COVID-19.

Likewise, two 2022 studies published in highly regarded journals found no benefit.

In the first study , published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers found no evidence that ivermectin prevented disease progression in high risk people with mild to moderate COVID-19.

A larger study from Brazil, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found ivermectin didnt lower rates of hospital admission due to COVID-19 progression.

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The Infection Coinfection And Abundance Of Intestinal Protozoa Increase The Serum Levels Of Ifabp2 And Tnf

  • 1Faculty of Chemical-Biological Sciences, Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero, Chilpancingo, Mexico
  • 2Department of Parasitology, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital General Dr. Raymundo Abarca Alarcón, Chilpancingo, Mexico
  • 4Center for Research in Infectious Diseases, Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias Ismael Cosío Villegas, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 5HLA Laboratory, Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias Ismael Cosío Villegas, Mexico City, Mexico

Discussion And Review Of Literature

Rheumatoid Arthritis  Motherhealth

Strongyloides stercoralis is an intestinal nematode that is widely distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics. Definitive diagnosis of strongyloidiasis usually depends on the demonstration of S. Stercoralis larvae in the feces or duodenal fluid. However, in a majority of uncomplicated cases, the intestinal worm load is low and the larval output is minimal. A single stool examination thus fails to detect larvae in up to 70% of cases . Strongyloides stercoralis is a unique parasite that can cause a mortal disease years after the exposure. Lam et al. carried out a retrospective study and searched seven patients characteristic features. All the patients left the endemic area more than 20 years ago.

When immunosupression develops, autoinfection accelerates and hyperinfection occurs. Hyperinfection has been associated with large numbers of parasites. The larvae do not spread out in the normal migration pattern but restricted to GI tract and lungs, whereas disseminated infection results in spreading to any organ. Multiple organs are affected including lungs, liver, heart, kidneys and central nervous system. Major complaints were fever, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, abdominal distension, weight loss, vomiting, cough, anemia, hemoptysis.

In most cases, in the literature, primary complaints were occasionally evaluated as different diagnosis than strongyloides but, after that duodenal biopsy, bronchoalveolar lavage, stool and sputum samples showed the parasite.

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How To Treat Intestinal Parasites

Different parasites require different treatment methods, so obtaining an accurate diagnosis is critical. Testing involves checking the feces for cysts or larvae. Blood tests can also detect certain parasites and x-rays may be helpful for helminths.

At CCFM, we perform intensive testing for gastrointestinal health. This is frequently a mainstay of our diagnosis and treatments. Since testing for different types of parasites on stool samples is highly variable and requires expertise, sometimes tests can miss an infection. Therefore, our providers treat based on a combination of detailed history, symptoms, and test data. Based on all of this data, your clinician will recommend the best individualized treatments and medications for the infection.

Diet is also key when it comes to treating and preventing parasites. A healthy intestinal microbiome is critical for good health, whether youve had exposure to parasites or not. Eating certain foods and avoiding others can help your body prevent and fight intestinal parasites, and restore your gut immune system.

Foods with probiotics and Vitamin C support a healthy microbiome and make you less susceptible to infection. Garlic, beetroot, pumpkin seeds, carrots, and papaya seeds all have anti-parasitic qualities.

If you think youve been exposed to parasites, avoid dairy, processed foods, and alcohol. Simple carbs and foods high in sugar give fuel to parasites, so limit them as much as possible.

Demographic Data And Clinical Features According To Protozoa Infection Status

Eighteen women diagnosed with RA were included in this study. The median age of the participants was 46.5 years old. According to the DAS28-ESR score, the population presents moderate clinical activity. The 66.7% of the individuals had pharmacological prescriptions with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs , and 33.3% were recently diagnosed and provided biological samples before the beginning of their prescribed treatment. When compared to the clinical characteristics and laboratory parameters according to the presence of protozoa, there were no significant differences identified . We found that none of the fecal samples were positive for nematodes or platyhelminths only protozoa were identified .

Table 1. Demographic, clinical, and inflammatory parameters according to the infection status by intestinal protozoa in patients with RA.

Figure 1. Graphical distribution of intestinal protozoa cysts. Blastocystis sp. End. nana Ent. coli Ent. hystolytica/dispar coinfection coinfection multiple . Micrometric coefficient: 2.5 m 1 m .

A total of 9 patients were positive for intestinal protozoa. Of those nine patients, 22.2% had a status of single infection with Blastocystis sp., and 27.8% had coinfection with Blastocystis sp. co-existing with one or more of the following protozoa: End. nana, Entamoeba coli, Ent. histolytica, or Entamoeba dispar.

Figure 2. Frequency and infection protozoa status in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Increased Intestinal Permeability Leaky Gut

Clinical experience and current literature suggest that intestinal permeability is present with most autoimmune conditions, including RA. It further tends to be a contributing factor in most chronic inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, seronegative spondyloarthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and lupus.

The cause of leaky gut is manyfold. Chronic use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , acid reflux medications , dysbiosis, SIBO, infections, trauma, chronic stress, adrenal insufficiency, and the presence of food allergies and sensitivities are but a few that need to be considered.

When dealing with any chronic inflammatory and/or autoimmune condition, it is my opinion that one should always begin with the gut. Your gut is the foundation for your health and houses seventy to eighty percent of your immune system. If your gut is inflamed, wouldnt it make sense that your immune system will become imbalanced, over-active, and may lead to mistakenly attacking your joints? Assessing and treating your GI system is essential for any long lasting treatment and remission of the disease.

Helminth Parasites And The Modulation Of Joint Inflammation

Inflammatory Arthritis Medications Simplified

Derek M. McKayAcademic Editor: Received


There is an urgent need to develop better therapeutics for autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases, of which musculoskeletal disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis are particularly prevalent and debilitating. Helminth parasites are accomplished masters at modifying their hosts’ immune activity, and so attention has focused on rodent-helminth model systems to uncover the workings of the mammalian immune response to metazoan parasites, with the hope of revealing molecules and/or mechanisms that can be translated into better treatments for human autoimmune and idiopathic disorders. Substantial proof-of-principal data supporting the concept that infection with helminth parasites can reduce the severity of concomitant disease has been amassed from models of mucosal inflammation. Indeed, infection with helminth parasites has been tried as a therapy in inflammatory bowel disease, and there are case reports relating to other conditions however, the impact of infection with parasitic helminths on musculoskeletal diseases has not been extensively studied. Here, we present the view that such a strategy should be applied to the amelioration of joint inflammation and review the literature that supports this contention.

1. Introduction

2. Animal Models of Joint Inflammation

3. Mammalian Immune Response to Helminth Parasites

3.1. Parasite-Derived Immunomodulatory Molecules

4. Suppression of Joint Inflammation by Helminth Parasites

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Helminth Therapy As A Treatment For Putative Old Friend Loss Disorders

A variety of inflammatory disorders that afflict people prior to aging have been linked to a loss of old friend helminths. These include asthma, atopic eczema, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis , rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes . For example, a study from Argentina found that accidental acquisition of helminth infections not only caused a reduction in inflammatory cytokines, but also alleviated disease symptoms in MS patients, and that clearance of parasites reversed these effects . In a similar vein, studies from Uganda found that hookworm infections in pregnant women confer protection against infantile atopic eczema, protection that is abrogated by anthelmintic treatment during pregnancy .

More directly, a number of studies have documented beneficial effects of deliberate helminth infections, beginning with J.E. Turton’s 1976 report in The Lancet, which describes how maintaining an infection with the intestinal hookworm Necator americanus alleviated his allergies . Helminth therapy has also been explored extensively in rodents. For example, to date, 20 studies of the autoimmune encephalomyelitis mouse model of MS have reported helminth-induced reductions in disease severity .

Taken together, helminth therapy currently shows promise as a means to treat inflammatory conditions such as allergy and autoimmunity . But could it also protect against inflammaging? Could maintaining half a dozen hookworms in your bowel help slow aging?

Dont Ignore Your Symptoms

In a culture thats hyper-focused on alleviating symptoms rather than finding the root issue, theres a concerning gap in the treatment chain.

Its easy to take a pill and make a symptom go away temporarily. Few stop to ask why the problem happened in the first place. Its a question that deserves an answer. If left untreated, intestinal parasites can cause lasting damage and chronic illness. If youre struggling with a chronic disease that has evaded proper diagnosis and treatment, make sure parasites are considered as a possible trigger.

If youre experiencing symptoms of a parasite infection, to book your initial consultation with us.

At CCFM, we see symptoms as clues, not something that should be covered up or ignored. Were dedicated to uncovering the root cause of your illness and helping you become your healthiest self. Wellness is a journey, but its always within reach.


  • Gopalakrishnan, S., Anantha Eashwar, V. M., Muthulakshmi, M., & Geetha, A.. . Intestinal parasitic infestations and anemia among urban female school children in Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. Retrieved from . Accessed 2 December 2020.
  • CDC . Parasites – Cryptosporidium. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from . Accessed 2 December 2020.
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    Parasites In Rheumatoid Arthritis: Imminent Threat Or Protective Effect

    Volume 13, Issue 2, 2017

    Page: Pages: 6


    Parasitic infections are among the oldest and most common infections in humans. Hostdefense alterations caused by autoimmune diseases or immunosuppressive drugs can cause modificationsof the symptoms: indolent parasites can be reactivated, asymptomatic patients may experiencenew symptoms, or mild or moderate symptoms can become serious and, rarely, may lead to death. Inrecent years, new drugs have been used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis , causing agreater level of immunosuppression and, therefore, more concerns regarding the risk of serious parasiticdiseases. Of note, experimental studies have demonstrated that the immunomodulation inducedby infection with helminths can minimize the occurrence and severity of rheumatoid arthritis. Productsderived from helminths can exert favorable effects in RA patientsvia their anti-inflammatory actions. Greater knowledge of these substances may serve as a basis forthe development of new treatments for RA. The full impact of parasitic diseases on patients withrheumatoid arthritis remains controversial, and further studies are warrented.

    Title:Parasites in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Imminent Threat or Protective Effect?

    Volume: 13Issue: 2

    Ana Paula Monteiro Gomides*, Caliandra Maria Bezerra Luna Lima, Franciso Airton Castro Rocha, Licia Maria Henrique da Mota and Sandra Maximiano de Oliveira


    The Liver Fluke Parasite

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    One of the outstanding discoveries is in the parasitic worm liver fluke . Thisparasite secretes a unique fragment of the protein that has experimentally proven successful in the treatment of joints and protection to the articular cartilage of joints from being destroyed by the bodys dysfunctional immune system, thus preventing rheumatoid arthritis from progressing. Aside from the protection, it offers the cartilage, a further research study by a team of researchers from the Central Drug Research Institute discovered that the protein secretes prevented the joint bone from being destroyed. As it is common with rheumatoid arthritis, the joint bone is always the first to get affected before the cartilage destruction sets in.

    • Liver Fluke Secrete

    Secretes of liver flukes contain specialized proteins that function to aid the parasites to evade recognition by the host immune system and also debilitate the killing machinery of the immune system by retarding the inflammatory responses. The special protein secreted by liver fluke,Fasciolahelminth defense molecule-1 , is quite similar to the human protein that mitigates inflammatory responses.

    • Experimentation

    A mouse that was bred under pathogen-free condition was used. The mouse model was made vulnerable to rheumatoid arthritis. A type-II collagen protein was introduced in large quantities to trigger an autoimmune response. This sets up the process of cartilage destruction.

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    Dangers Of Using Ivermectin To Prevent Covid

    In August 2021, 21 people called Oregon Poison Center after taking ivermectin. About half of these people took ivermectin to prevent COVID-19, and the other half used it to treat COVID-19 symptoms. Out of these 21 people, 17 had purchased formulas meant for animals.

    Six of the people were hospitalized from toxicity. Four more received treatment in an intensive care unit. One of them developed seizures.

    If youve taken ivermectin and experience signs of toxicity, its important to seek immediate medical attention.

    Symptoms Of Parasitic Infection

    In this article:

    Having parasites in your body sounds like a scary thing to experience. Although extremely unpleasant, these parasitic infections in humans are very common.

    These infections can get to you from anywhere, irrespective of geographical boundaries. They cause symptoms that affect the entire body and arent limited to only your digestive system.

    Read on to know more about this topic!

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    Serum Quantification Of Ifabp2 And Cytokines

    The IFABP2 serum levels were determined using ELISA kits , following the manufacturer’s instructions. The results were expressed as ng/ml, and the detection limit was 0.025 ng/ml. Similarly, TNF- levels were quantified using ELISA kits . IL-10 and IL-17A were quantified using a ProcartaPlex assay , following the specifications from the manufacturers. Cytokine levels are expressed in pg/ml.

    Mice Infected With A Parasite Show Reduced Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Parasites: Clearing Up Blastocystis Hominis, IBS and Hashimotoâs

    PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

    A team of researchers working in Germany has found that intentionally infecting mice that had rheumatoid arthritis with a parasite, led to reduced symptoms of the immune disorder. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers describe their studies with test mice and the tiny worm-like parasite, Nippostrongylus brasiliensis and what they found by doing so.

    Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition where the immune system, for unknown reasons, begins to attack the cartilage in different parts of body, most particularly, in the joints. The result is inflammation, pain and destruction of essential joint components. While some drugs have been developed to stop or slow the damage that occurs in patients with the disorder, most eventually succumb to its debilitating effects. In this new effort, the researchers have taken a different approach, introducing a parasite into the joints of arthritic mice to incite a secondary immune response, thereby redirecting the immune system attack, and saving the cartilage from damage.

    The researchers also noted that the type of immune response initiated by introduction of the parasite, known as Th2, was also present in the knee joints of 20 human patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, which they note, suggests that the body is already trying to defend itself against its own rogue immune response.

    More information:Nature Communications

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