As the number of Americans with asthma increases annually, the demand for the discovery of new treatments also arises. Recently, a study has found that we may just have the help that we're looking for from one of man's unlikely friend - hookworms. Hookworms are considered as intestinal parasites causing more than 760 million infections worldwide.
Although hookworms are seen to be the culprit in some experiences of abdominal pian, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue and anemia, researchers from James Cook University (JCU) in Australia has revealed that hookworms aren't as bad and useless as we think it is.
According to Medical News Today, study co-author Dr. Severine Navarro, of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine at JCU, together with her colleagues, have found how a protein that is being secreted by hookworms known as anti-inflammatory protein 2 (AIP2) can potentially be used to suppress the inflammation airway in a mice with asthma.
In one of his interview, although he's not involved in the research process, parasite immunologist at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom, Rick Maizels, claims that the said medical breakthrough is a clear demonstration as to how a single product from a parasite can lead to several whooping systemic changes that are favorable.
Science reports that Navarro's latest study, which was published in Science Translational Medicine, explains the reflection of the shifting in field. From examining a hookworm's ability to affect the immune system up to identifying the molecules that causes them to do so. However, Navarro and her team reveals that the ultimate goal is coming up with a new drug based on these prized molecules.
Experts believe that the discovery of hookworms' ability of treating asthma is not just what excited them. Rather, it is said to be a milestone not just for asthma but as well as for other inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. As of the present time, Navarro's team is now on the move to look for adequate funding source in order for them to conduct tests that would determine its side effects and safe dosage.