Understanding parasites could offer cure for allergies

Petri dish

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Biologists at the University of Edinburgh are investigating how parasitic worms could offer a cure for modern maladies.

Countries that have largely eliminated parasites are now seeing a rise in allergies and conditions such as Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and asthma.

The Edinburgh team is working on isolating the component that has the most effect on reducing allergies and turning it into a drug using genetic engineering.

The Health Show is broadcast on BBC World News on Saturdays at 1010 and 2010 GMT and on Sundays at 0710 and 2310 GMT. The programme is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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