Parasites to treat IBD?
I’ve read a few articles recently talking about various clinical trials using parasites and worms to treat IBD. In theory, it’s a really interesting idea- ingesting what would parasites that prevent the body from attacking itself.
Most recently, I read about a new clinical trial that is studying pig parasites as one course of treatment. In the trial, patients swallow the eggs of a pig parasite. Each egg contains thousands of microscopic parasite eggs, culled from pig feces, suspended in a tablespoon of saline solution to be swallowed. Sounds pretty gross right?
Burlington, MA-based Coronado Biosciences Inc is conducting the trial. The company is preparing to enroll 220 patients with Crohn’s Disease in the trial in which the participants will either receive a dose of the parasite with 7,500 eggs from a pig whipworm or a placebo every two weeks over a 12 week period.
When I first read about this, one thing immediately popped into my mind- religion. So many religious, primarily Judaism and Islam, prohibit observers from consuming pork products. However, they do permit the person to do something to protect their life. I wonder what the stance is on taking medication made from a pig… Just some food for thought.
Read more about this new trial here.