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Asthma inducing parasites?

Gerald L. McLaughlin, Ph.D gmclaugh at INDYVAX.IUPUI.EDU
Wed Nov 26 09:46:09 EST 1997


In terms of "related" symptoms, although not a parasite, inhaled free-living
dust mites that are common in carpets are thought to be among the top ten
allergans, which may contribute to asthma.  

Some life cycles of "true" parasites include a heart-lung migration, and if
there are large numbers of these immature tissue-penetrating parasites or if
the parasites are large, this can cause lung symptoms (coughing, etc).
Ascaris lumbricoides, a large nematode, also makes an "ascaroside"
glycolipid that is especially allergenic, i.e. that causes hypersensitivity
reactions for some people who have been repeatedly exposed, especially in
the larval migration phase.   

However, the rise in asthma cases in developed countries is not related to
infections by parasites, which are very rare.  Apparently, the real reasons
are not simple, but involve a complex of contributing factors.  Sometimes,
drops in symptoms due to allergies/asthma may be feasible by addressing
indoor pollution, e.g. using better filters on vacuum cleaners and furnaces,
by fortunate genetics regarding related immune system markers, by avoidance
of some foods, removing mercury filling in teeth, and other easy steps.  I'd
recommend that one try to define the specific causes for the individual, and
additonal prevention and treatment procedures, by consulting a
board-certified medical specialist in allergies and asthma, who is licensed
to do related case histories, medical examinations, prescribe lab tests,
drugs, and to discuss appropriate preventative measures.   
Warning; I'm a parasitologist, not an MD who is board certified in allergies
and asthma.  I'm pretty sure that my comments about parasites are correct.
The comments about allergies and asthma are based on discussions with
friends who suffer these conditions, and discussions with others who do
research in this field; take them with a grain of salt! 

Gerald McLaughlin

At 11:13 AM 11/26/97 -0400, Simon M wrote:
>has anybody any information on parasites that could possibly cause
>or any thing related?
>Much appreciated
Gerald McLaughlin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
635 Barnhill Dr., MS A128
Indianapolis, IN  46202-5113
Ph 317-274-2651; FAX 317-278-0643
e-mail:  gmclaugh at iupui.edu

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