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Trends Parasitol. 2006 Dec;22(12):547-50. Epub 2006 Oct 10.

Intestinal allergy expels hookworms: seeing is believing.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Townsville Hospital, Townsville, QLD 4814, Australia.


It is unclear how immunity limits hookworm infection. Australian researchers, using capsule and conventional gastrointestinal endoscopy in volunteers inoculated with Necator americanus, have reported that virtually all larvae reach the intestine within six weeks. Unlike the neutral response surrounding resident hookworms, newly arrived adults provoke an eosinophilic enteropathy. This allergic reaction curtails the attachment of hookworms and accompanies the passage of additional worms as they are expelled from the proximal small intestine.

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