Nematodes May Prove Key to RA
Move over maggots. Leap aside leeches. Make room for a worm joining you in the patient room.
Well, maybe not, but a parasitic nematode may provide a more effective treatment for inflammatory types of arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
Researchers at the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde are researching a molecule secreted by nematodes that prevents massive inflammatory response. Auto-immune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, are rare in countries where parasitic worm infections are endemic; and researchers believe a molecule called ES-62 may be the key.
No one actually wants to infect patients with the worms, which cause a number of maladies like elephantiasis, but they do want to synthesize it and develop drugs for a number of auto-immune diseases.
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