How Parasites Help Monkeys With Belly Problems

capuchin monkey

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A new study showed that chronic diarrhoea could be treated using parasitic worms.Researchers at New York University found that inflammatory bowel diseases, which causes serious diarrhoea, could be treated with parasites in a study using monkeys.

The study looked at monkeys that had chronic diarrhoea, which was difficult to treat.

The monkeys were given whipworms, a kind of parasite.

After a few weeks the monkeys’ intestinal bacteria had been restored, giving them less diarrhoea, which helped them gain weight.

More from GlobalPostBacteria-killing virus could replace traditional antibiotics, says study

“The idea for treating colitis with worms is not new, but how this therapy might work remains unclear,” said study author P’ng Loke, of the New York University Langone Medical centre, reported Medical News Today.

“Our findings suggest that exposure to helminths may improve symptoms by restoring the balance to the microbial communities that are attached to the intestinal wall.”

Researchers say they are planning a new human study to look at how pig helminth eggs might help reduce the symptoms of colitis, reported HealthDay.

The findings were published in the journal PLoS Pathogens.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.