Worm infections may enhance fertility and chances of giving birth to many babies, revealed a new study.
A recent study published in the Journal Science
has found that a type of worm infection increase fertility rates in the Tsimane women of Bolivia. A study was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of California at Santa Barbara. They examined nearly 1000 women of this population over nine years.
‘Seventy percent of the Tsimane population in Bolivia is infected with a parasitic worm which may be a significant factor for the increased fertility rates in these women.’
They found that parasitic worm infections could be responsible for their higher-than-average fertility levels. Women who had roundworm infections gave birth to more than 12 children and women who had hookworm infections had a lower birth rate- bearing 7 children.
The lead author of the study, Aaron Blackwell said, "The effects may relate to the balance of immune responses that the different worms induce."
Roundworm infections were linked to earlier first births and shorter periods between births, while hookworm infections were linked with a delay in first pregnancy and longer periods between births.
Researchers suggested that the findings could lead new fertility treatments for women who find it difficult to get pregnant. But they were not aware about the exact mechanism involved between the infection and fertility.