First Advisor

Edward DeGrauw

Date of Award

Winter 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology and University Honors




Whipworms -- Therapeutic use, Helminths -- Therapeutic use, Inflammatory bowel diseases -- Treatment, Autoimmune diseases -- Treatment, Digestive organs -- Diseases -- Diet therapy




In the developed world, Crohn’s disease and colitis affects the lives of many individuals. Recently, a new form of treatment for these autoimmune diseases has gained recognition. This treatment uses helminths (Trichuris trichiura and Trichuris suis) as an immunomodulant to a human immune system. Various studies (Summers et. al., 2004; Dige et. al., 2016; Lopes et. al., 2016) have shown the safety and viability of this form of treatment, but many believe this area of research leaves much to be desired. Through this paper, the topic of helminthic therapy and its viability as a form of treatment for autoimmune diseases under the category of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) will be discussed. A conclusion will be reached by reviewing these three key studies: Helminth Regulation of Immunity: A Three-pronged Approach to Treat Colitis by Lopes et. al., Trichuris suis therapy in Crohn’s disease by Summers et. al., and Mucosal and systemic immune modulation by Trichuris trichiura in a self-infected individual by Dige et. al.


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