Journal of Helminthology

Research Papers

Immune monitoring of Trichuris suis egg therapy in multiple sclerosis patients

F. Benzela1, H. Erdura1, S. Kohlera1a2, M. Frentscha2, A. Thiela2, L. Harmsa1, K.-P. Wandingera3a4 and B. Roschea1 c1

a1 Department of Neurology & Experimental Neurology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany

a2 Berlin-Brandenburg Center of Regenerative Therapies, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany

a3 Institute for Neuroimmunology and Clinical MS Research, Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg (ZMNH), University Medical Center Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany

a4 Institute for Experimental Immunology, affiliated with Euroimmun, Luebeck, Germany

Abstract

Initial clinical trials using Trichuris suis eggs (TSO) in autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, revealed a striking suppressive effect on the autoimmune response. Here, we analysed the effect of TSO therapy on the course of multiple sclerosis (MS), as a Th1/Th17-associated autoimmune disease. Different immunological parameters in four patients with secondary progressive MS were surveyed during a 6-month therapy with TSO, focusing on the modulation of T-cell Th1–Th2 balance as well as on the innate immune response. We are able to show a slight downregulation of the Th1-associated cytokine pattern, especially relevant in interleukin (IL)-2 (P < 0.05 after 2 months of therapy), with a temporary increase of Th2-associated cytokines such as IL-4. Furthermore, mild eosinophily and changes in CD4+ and CD8+T cells and natural killer (NK) CD56 bright cell numbers were observed. The findings observed in this group of patients suggest that TSO therapy has a moderate immunomodulatory impact in MS.

(Received December 21 2010)

(Accepted July 04 2011)

(Online publication August 15 2011)

Correspondence:

c1 Fax: 0049-30 450560912 E-mail: berit.rosche@charite.de