Understanding the genetics mechanisms underlying the pig parasite may aid to modify the human immune response that could result in better treatments for autoimmune diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and multiple sclerosis.
The human whipworm (Trichuris) infects around 1 billion people worldwide and causes a disease (trichuriasis) that results in major socioeconomic loses.
In contrast, the pig whipworm causes disease and losses in livestock, but it does not cause disease in humans. It's reported that pig whipworm infection could even prevent inflammatory disease in humans, and has been used to treat inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis.
The research is published online in Nature Genetics.