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    Worms conspire with gut microbes

    Photo Credit: Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University

    In a recent article published in Nature, Swiss scientist Nicola Harris and colleague reported interesting findings about the relationships between worms and gut microbes. It was found that intestinal worms manipulate their host's immune system to ensure their survival, in part by changing the metabolism of the host's gut microbiome. The worms, called helminths, infect around 2 billion people around the world, and are able to block harmful inflammatory responses in humans and mice. Mice infected with helminths were found to have “healthier” intestinal microbes.
    Harris and colleague are working to uncover the mechanisms underlying this “conspiracy”, specifically how microbes and worms cooperate in synergy to promote healthier intestinal environment.
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