Details of whipworm larvae colonising the gut revealed
Caused by the whipworm parasite, the disease Trichuriasis is prevalent in tropical areas and affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, yet it’s often overlooked. A few treatments are available, but none are effective at complete eradication, so finding other treatment options is essential. One major obstacle to preventing this disease is that we don’t know what happens in the early stages of infection by this parasitic worm. Using their new organoid ‘mini gut’ model, researchers have discovered that whipworms degrade the mucus layers within our gut and create tunnels to access our cells. These tunnels are thought to provide shelter and a continuous source of nutrients so that the worm can persist in the gut. In this video, the worm, the host cells and the tunnels can finally be visualised. Finding ways to stop these worms tunnelling may pave the way to preventing this disease.
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