Diabetes may be helped by pig whipworm

  Autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes could be alleviated by the parasitic worms of pigs, an Australian study shows.

Treatment for diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and even autism may soon include a dose of Trichuris of pigs or at least a drug designed on its genetic sequence, if researchers from Melbourne University have their way.

“We know that humans infected with the harmless ‘pig whipworm’ can have significantly reduced symptoms linked to autoimmune diseases, said lead researcher Dr Aaron Jax from the Faculty of Veterinary Science.

“And now we have the genetic sequence of the worm, it opens the door to future human drug designs and treatment.”

Although the pig whipworm causes disease and losses in