A reader asked my opinion on helminth theraphy for CFS? “Helminths , also commonly known as parasitic worms, are large multicellular organisms, which when mature can generally be seen with the naked eye. They are often referred to as intestinal worms …” Wikipedia. The question came from reading this article in the Guardian.
Since the goal of this blog is to get rid of a stable dysfunction microbiome — the use of intestinal worms has a conceptual logic. So, what evidence is there to support it use, either direct or indirect?
- “promising results from using experimental hookworm infection to reduce gluten sensitivity in celiac disease patients.” 
- Experimental hookworm infection and escalating gluten challenges are associated with increased microbial richness in celiac subjects. 
- Differences in the Faecal Microbiome in Schistosoma haematobium Infected Children vs. Uninfected Children. 
- The microbiota and helminths: sharing the same niche in the human host. 
- ” Our data show that, although hookworm infection leads to a minor increase in microbial species richness, no detectable effect is observed on community structure, diversity or relative abundance of individual bacterial species.” NOTE: This was done on HEALTHY individuals, which suggests that it may normalize unhealthy gut bacteria.
- Evaluating the role of intestinal parasites in the high rates of irritable bowel syndrome in South America: a pilot study. no significant correlation was found
Impact on Microbiome
- “a significant increase in the abosamal pH was observed in infected goats…, the infection altered the abundance of approximately 19% of the 432 species-level operational taxonomic units (OTU) detected per sample. ….A total of 30 taxa displayed a significantly different abundance between control and infected goats.”
- ” The results suggest that in clinically heathy dogs and cats, helminths and protozoa are associated with different microbiomes and possibly variable gut microbiota functions.” 
- ” microbiota compositional shifts during helminth infection contribute to the multifaceted ways that helminths modulate host immunity.” 
- “Recent studies reported that the presence of helminth infection alters the composition of the bacterial intestinal microbiota and, conversely, that the presence and composition of the bacterial microbiota affect helminth colonization and persistence within mammalian hosts.” 
- Suppression of inflammation by helminths: a role for the gut microbiota? 
The approach appears viable and with the right species , there is a hint that it will normalize an unhealthy microbiome. I suspect that it is not a “single treatment magic silver bullet”, it should be part of a systematic plan to correct and maintain a healthy microbiome.