NPR

Could You Fight Off Worms? Depends On Your Gut Microbes

Nearly 25 percent of people are infected with worms. New research suggests that gut microbes may be able to help in waging war against the parasites.
A colored scanning electron micrograph of a parasitic tapeworm. The scolex (head) has suckers and a crown of hooklets that the worm uses to attach itself to the inside of the intestines of its host. Source: Power and Syred/Science Photo Library

Our tummies are teeming with trillions of bacteria — tiny microbes that help with little things, like digesting food, and big things, like warding off disease.

Those same microbes may have another purpose: waging war against worms.

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis made the discovery after studying the microbiomes of individuals from Liberia and Indonesia. They found that the guts of individuals infected with parasites share common microbes

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