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Th2, Bats, and Helminths. Oh My!

What does a SARS-COV-2 cytokine storm have to do with helminths (worms)? Funny, you should ask. . . .


I recently started looking into why Ivermectin and/or disease modifying drugs (like rheumatoid arthritis drugs) were ever considered for combating the serious side effects of COVID-19, and I found some interesting articles and thoughts I might share.


Firstly, I thought, Ivermectin is an anti-helminth/anti-filarial drug (a wormer). It works by stopping the worm's ability to evade the human immune system. In researching this, I found that these kind helminth and filarial of infections are known to reduce Th2 immune responses. Through various pathways, Th2 over-response is implicated in cytokine storm and severe COVID symptoms. So, I wondered, do bats carry helminths, and why aren't they dying from SARS? And to my surprise, I found that bats are well known carriers of multiple helminth and filarial infections - they are chronically infected with worms. Bat immune systems are down-modulated by these helminth and filarial infections which allow the bats to both carry SARS chronically, and to avoid serious, deadly SARS infections. The inability to completely eradicate the SARS infections (due to immune system lowering helminth infections), allows opportunities for mutations.


Next I found an article about how people who are on immune system lowering drugs to treat auto-immune diseases, may be at greater risk of chronic long-term COVID infections. Like the bats, their immune systems never quite get rid of the infection, allowing opportunity for mutations. I also found people in western countries are less likely to have intestinal parasites, and more likely to have auto-immune diseases. Perhaps we need a few worm challengers to keep our immune systems modulated? Maybe they're symbiotic?


And finally, I suspect (this is speculation and I'm calling it that), that people who are having hyper-sensitivity (aka allergic) responses to the vaccine, may be the same people who are having cytokine storms if they get COVID. Why or why Ivermectin may not work to eradicate a COVID infection, is for others to debate. But my hunt for answers led me to some surprising revelations. Most surprisingly: If over 10 million Americans take disease modifying drugs for auto-immune disease and can thus continue to carry SARS like bats, we are not anywhere near the end of this pandemic.


Here are some of the interesting sources I came across:


Ivermectin, "Wonder drug" from Japan: the human use perspective. CRUMP et al. Proc Jpn Acad Ser B Phys Biol Sci, 2011 Feb 10; 87(2): 13-28: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21321478/


Above article includes information on history and safety of Ivermectin. This article describes how Ivermectin interferes with the worm's ability to evade the immune system. Interestingly, Ivermectin was developed from a soil parasite called avermectin, found in soil in Japan. Merck appears to currently have some serious conflicts of interest. No surprise there.

Immunization with SARS coronavirus vaccines leads to pulmonary immunopathology on challenge with the SARS virus. Tseng, et. al. PLoS One 2012;7(4): e35421 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22536382/


Above article just highlights how the Th2 response is what is implicated in damage after severe covid. Don't read too much into the title. Read the article.


What is the difference between Th1 and Th2 immune response. Lakna. June 17, 2019. https://pediaa.com/what-is-the-difference-between-th1-and-th2-immune-response/


Above article explains how Th2 immune response is related to helminth infections.


Regulation of the host immune system by helminth parasites. Maizels et al. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2016, Sep: 138(3): 666-675: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5010150/


Research shows intestinal parasite infestations reduce COVID-19 severity: Thomas, Liji. News Medical Life Sciences, Feb 4, 2021: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210204/Research-shows-intestinal-parasite-infestations-reduce-COVID-19-severity.aspx


Please note the above article is not incontrovertible. It has already been suggested that in Brazil, large populations of intestinal parasite carriers were hit the hardest by COVID. However, the article is interesting.


Related article to above source: https://www.news-medical.net/health/Immunotherapy-and-Helminthic-Therapy.aspx


Above article discusses how helminth infections reduce auto-immune symptoms.


How SARS-Cov-2 evades immune system defenses. Pesheva, March 2021. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2021/03/how-sars-cov-2-evades-immune-system-defenses/


Above article (based on a Harvard study referenced) discusses how people on immune system lowering drugs for auto-immune disease, may be susceptible to chronic COVID infections.


Ivermectin, "Wonder drug" from Japan: the human use perspective. CRUMP et al. Proc Jpn Acad Ser B Phys Biol Sci, 2011 Feb 10; 87(2): 13-28: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21321478/


Above article includes information on history and safety of Ivermectin. This article describes how Ivermectin interferes with the worm's ability to evade the immune system. Interestingly, Ivermectin was developed from a soil parasite called avermectin, found in soil in Japan. Merck appears to currently have some serious conflicts of interest. No surprise there.

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