About this Research Topic
For the first time the term of “hygiene hypothesis” was suggested by Dr. Strachan in 1989 who believed higher level of hygiene that characterize developed countries, compared to undeveloped regions, may increase the risk of autoimmune diseases. Based on this hypothesis, the exposure to some microorganisms, particularly parasitic helminths at the early years of life, can train immunity and balance immune responses. This hypothesis was later supported by numerous cross-sectional and case-control studies that highlighted the role of helminths and their products in reducing the risk of autoimmune diseases including IBD in adults.
Accordingly, many studies were conducted in vivo and in vitro, which successfully revealed the therapeutic effects of either helminths/their eggs or their execratory/secretory (S/E) products in autoimmune diseases. On the other hand, contacts with some other prevalent parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii (through close contacts with cats, and consumption of raw meat) may increase the risk of IBD. It was demonstrated that this parasite manipulates autophagy in infected cells. Autophagy is a cellular process, mediated by mammalian Target of Rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) that is suggested to affects the clinical outcomes of IBD and was recently proposed to be involved in mechanism of action of some IBD drugs, Azathioprine. Furthermore, this parasite induces NLRP3 inflammasome, suggested to be a trigger for IBD.
For the above reasons, the exact correlation between parasites and IBD is not yet completely understood.
With this Research Topic, we aim to collect manuscripts on the recent advances in the understanding of the correlation between parasite and IBD. We welcome original research, reviews, mini reviews and other article types, for submission in the Gastroenterology section of Frontiers in Medicine.
Keywords: parasites, inflammatory bowel diseases, hygiene hypothesis, helminth, toxoplasma gondii, immune response
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.